Bucks sign veteran Kenyon Martin, waive guard Nate Wolters
GENARO C. ARMAS
Jan. 10, 2015
The Bucks signed 37-year-old Kenyon Martin on Friday to replenish a depleted frontcourt, reuniting the forward with former New Jersey Nets teammate and current Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd.
Martin signed a 10-day contract. The team waived guard Nate Wolters to make room on the roster.
Martin played 32 games last season for the New York Knicks before becoming a free agent. He worked out for the Bucks last week.
Martin has averaged 12.5 points and 6.9 rebounds over 14 seasons. He might get immediate playing time after the Bucks lost rookie Jabari Parker to a season-ending left knee injury last month. Forward Ersan Ilyasova is also recovering from a concussion and center Larry Sanders is out for personal reasons.
Milwaukee hosts Minnesota on Friday night.
The surprising Bucks are 19-18 in Kidd's first year in Milwaukee. They already have four more wins than all of the dreadful 2013-14 season.
General manager John Hammond said Martin, the first overall pick by the Nets in the 2000 NBA draft, has always been known for a "tough-minded, physical approach to the game."
"Kenyon provides some needed depth to our frontcourt and brings an additional veteran presence to help develop our young team," Hammond said.
Martin and Kidd, a former All-Star point guard, helped the Nets advance to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. They also played together with the Knicks in Kidd's last season as a player in 2012-13.
"Excited to be back in the court. Would like to thank the Bucks for the opportunity to play again," Martin posted on Twitter.
Kidd said Martin's veteran presence will be an asset to the Bucks' young lineup.
"He's a very smart basketball player. It won't take long for him to understand what we're trying to do," Kidd said. "For us, it's a process a learning a lot of different things and one of the best ways is learning from your teammates. He's been in a lot of battles. He's been on pretty good teams throughout his career and he understands what it takes."
Kidd didn't rule out getting Martin some playing time against the Timberwolves.
"We want to put him a good position. If the game presents itself where he can get a couple of minutes, yes. If not, we'll try to get him some more work on the court tomorrow."
Kidd said he and Martin have a strong friendship that's lasted for many years, on and off the court.
"We hit it off," Kidd said. "He cleaned up all my mistakes. He made me look good."
Wolters played sporadically this season under Kidd after averaging 7.2 points in 58 games last season under former coach Larry Drew. The second-year player from South Dakota State was drafted in the second round in 2013 by the Washington Wizards before being acquired by Milwaukee following a series of deals.
The point guard was averaging 2.3 points in 11 games. The Bucks are stocked with ball-handlers, with starter Brandon Knight and backups Jerryd Bayless and Kendall Marshall.