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Report: Rival teams still monitoring KJ Martin’s situation in Houston

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In search of more playing time entering his third NBA season, reserve forward KJ Martin reportedly approached the Houston Rockets earlier this offseason about a potential trade to another team.

To this point, it hasn’t happened. But with the Rockets having added two highly touted first-round rookie forwards in Jabari Smith Jr. and Tari Eason, the underlying calculus certainly hasn’t changed. If anything, the path to rotation minutes for Martin is suddenly even more difficult.

Thus, all options remain on the table, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “A trade is best for all parties involved, and teams continue to monitor his situation in Houston,” Iko writes. “Martin’s primary reason for asking for a trade was a real possibility of a lack of minutes.”

But because Martin is under contract at a relatively cheap rate for two more seasons, the Rockets aren’t desperate to trade an athletic forward who has averaged 9.0 points (52.4% FG, 36.0% on 3-pointers) and 3.8 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per game over his two seasons in Houston. It would require satisfactory value to general manager Rafael Stone.

That value hasn’t been found yet, but with two months still to go until teams report to training camps for the 2022-23 season, it would be foolish to count such a deal out as teams attempt to finalize their rosters. From Houston’s perspective, with a fairly deep roster of young guards and forwards, the primary incentive in a potential Martin trade would likely need to be either future draft compensation or a backup center.

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