Before the Denver Nuggets could reject Kenyon Martin, the veteran power forward made the first move.
It was pretty apparent after the Nuggets were ousted from the playoffs they were going to part ways with the oft-injured veteran power forward.
And Martin knew it, which was one of the reasons why the former No. 1 draft pick signed on to spend the season in China.
Martin recently told Marc Spears of YahooSports that he wanted to stay in Denver and to sign an extension, but the Nuggets decide to go young when they drafted rookie Kenneth Faried.
“That’s their problem,” Martin said of the Nuggets’ free-agent challenges. “They made that bed. Guess what? Let them lie in it. I had some good times. I enjoyed my seven years. I enjoyed the Denver fans. But they made the decision.”
While there is no right or wrong in Martin and the Nuggets decision (at least not yet), but the two were destined to part ways after Martin was disappointed last summer, before the Carmelo Anthony-fiasco, that Denver didn’t offer him an extension.
While it will be easy for the Nuggets to replace Martin on the offensive side of the ball, on the glass and also the talent-level – especially with his constant bouts with injuries. But it will be his leadership, defensive style and attitude that will be missed.
During his time in Denver, Martin never played more than 71 games and never matched the 15.5 points that he averaged in his first season with the Nuggets.
However, in each seven year the Nuggets made the playoffs and even advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 2008 before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nuggets’ free agents JR Smith and Wilson Chandler will also spend the season in China, even if the lockout gets lifted, which puts the Nuggets in a bind when free agency starts. Martin’s leaving will open up minutes for second-year center Timofey Mozgov, backup center Kosta Koufos, veteran forward Al Harrington and even rookie Faried. However, it makes it all more important for the Nuggets to resign Nene.
But as of right now, it also leaves a big question mark for a team that has seven free agents.