Kenyon Martin was a good late-season pickup for the Knicks, and now he'll give them toughness and defense from the start of the 2013-14 campaign.
The Knicks reached an agreement Wednesday to bring back Martin, the power forward's agent, Andy Miller, said. The Knicks have only minimum contracts left to sign free agents, so Martin will get a one-year deal for roughly $1.4 million -- the minimum for players who have played at least 10 seasons.
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Martin, the No. 1 pick in the 2000 draft, averaged 7.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 18 games with the Knicks last season. Injuries to frontcourt players Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby led to the Knicks signing Martin to a 10-day contract on Feb. 23. He was signed for the rest of the season on March 15.
Martin started 11 games at power forward or center and helped the Knicks to a 9-2 record, averaging 8.8 points and 5.8 rebounds.
When the Knicks sign Martin they will have 12 players under contract, including 6-9 rookie forward C.J. Leslie, who has a partially guaranteed deal. Martin also gives the Knicks six power forwards/centers on the roster, joining Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani and Leslie.
The Knicks still have three roster spots to fill. They would like to get a third point guard and perhaps another big man for insurance after the injuries they sustained up front last season. But general manager Glen Grunwald said he may want to keep a spot or two open to see if any camp invitee impresses enough to make the team.
Martin, 35, has averaged 12.8 points and 7.0 rebounds for the Nets, Nuggets, Clippers and Knicks. His best game last season was a 19-point, 11-rebound performance at Toronto on March 22.
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