Bucks bolster frontcourt with veteran Martin, waive Wolters
In a move to help their depleted frontcourt, the Milwaukee Bucks signed veteran free-agent power forward Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract Friday.
"Kenyon provides some needed depth to our front court and brings an additional veteran presence to help develop our young team," Bucks general manager John Hammond said in a release. "He has always been known for his tough-minded, physical approach to the game and we’re excited to welcome him to the Milwaukee Bucks."
The Bucks waived second-year guard Nate Wolters in a corresponding move to clear a roster spot for Martin.
Martin hasn’t played in the NBA this season after averaging 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 32 games and 15 starts for the New York Knicks during the 2013-14 campaign. The 37-year-old worked out for the Bucks on Dec. 30 in Cleveland.
"Great day. Excited to be back in the court. Would like to thank the Bucks for the opportunity to play again," Martin tweeted before the official announcement Thursday afternoon.
Players can sign up to two 10-day contracts before a team must decide whether to pledge to keep the player for the remainder of the season or let him walk free.
Martin’s first 10-day contract with the Bucks encompasses just three games, as Milwaukee plays Friday and Saturday before heading to London to face the Knicks on Thursday for its lone game next week.
The former No. 1 overall pick carries career averages of 12.5 points and 6.9 rebounds over 14 seasons with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers and the Knicks.
Martin and Bucks coach Jason Kidd were teammates for three seasons with the Nets from 2001-04 and again in 2012-13 with the Knicks.
Milwaukee’s once deep frontcourt has been hit hard by injuries, as Jabari Parker is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and Ersan Ilyasova has missed most of the past month with a fractured nose and a concussion.
Larry Sanders’ absence due to personal reasons has Zaza Pachulia and John Henson covering the center position, leaving Kidd to have to start rookie Johnny O’Bryant at power forward the past 11 games.
Picked No. 38 overall by Washington in the 2013 NBA Draft, Wolters was traded to Philadelphia and then to the Bucks on draft night. The South Dakota State product took advantage of an opportunity last season to average 7.2 points and 3.2 assists in 58 games — including 31 starts — for the Bucks last season.
Wolters never found his way into Kidd’s rotation, playing in just 11 of Milwaukee’s 37 games as the team’s fourth point guard behind Brandon Knight, Jerryd Bayless and Kendall Marshall.
"I am really appreciative of the Bucks drafting me and the opportunity to play here in Milwaukee. I am also thankful for the entire Bucks organization, management, coaching staff, trainers, and fans. I look forward to the next step in my career," Wolters said in a press release Friday.
The 23-year-old averaged 2.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists while shooting 38.7 percent from the field in 12.9 minutes per game this season.
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