Knicks trade Ronnie Brewer, will add Kenyon Martin
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TORONTO -- The Knicks made a small move before the trade deadline, opening a roster spot for another big player: Kenyon Martin.
Ronnie Brewer was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2014 second-round pick and cash just before Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline. The open spot will be filled by Martin.
With Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace still out with foot injuries, the Knicks want insurance up front and will sign Martin to a 10-day contract. General manager Glen Grunwald said he hopes the veteran power forward will remain with the Knicks for the rest of the season.
"Kenyon is more than just a big man," Grunwald said on a conference call. "We think he's a very versatile defender that can guard at least three positions. We're looking forward to adding a good defender who can help us in our quest this season."
Martin, 35, is a hard-nosed player and enforcer who should help a defense that has been porous of late. He's also familiar with many Knicks, having played with Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and Camby in Denver and Jason Kidd with the Nets.
The No. 1 pick in the 2000 NBA draft, Martin has career averages of 13.1 points and 7.1 rebounds. With the Clippers last season, he averaged 5.2 points and 4.3 boards in 22.4 minutes.
Martin hasn't played this season but has been working out while waiting for an opportunity. The Knicks can't sign him until Brewer passes his physical and the trade becomes official. Grunwald said it should be done by Sunday or Monday.
"We watched a lot of the tape of his season last year with the Clippers and he played very well," Grunwald said. "We're hopeful he's going to show he's still got what it takes to be an NBA player and I'm optimistic he's going to be able to play for us."
It's unclear when Camby and Wallace will play again. Mike Woodson said Camby, out since straining his left plantar fascia Jan. 10, did some scrimmaging at practice Thursday. Wallace hasn't played since Dec. 13, and Woodson said he did some running and conditioning. Grunwald said he expects both to return this season.
The Knicks, trounced by 34 in Indiana on Wednesday, have missed Wallace's presence defensively. Since starting 18-5, they've gone 14-14, but Grunwald believes they have the makeup to compete for a title. "We're optimistic," he said. "We have to play better. We've had some difficult games, and teams will go through that. I'm optimistic that Woody, the coaching staff and the players will get back to their winning ways."
Brewer, who signed a one-year deal in the summer, started 34 games this season, but the swingman played sparingly after Iman Shumpert returned from left ACL surgery.
Shumpert was the subject of trade rumors, but Grunwald said the Knicks had no intention of moving him. "There were no trade discussions with Shump," he said. "Obviously, Iman is a good young player and I'm sure a lot of teams are interested in him, but no more than the New York Knicks."
Lineup change? Woodson said he's considering a change in the starting lineup Friday night when the Knicks face the Raptors.
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