Pretty soon the Denver Nuggets may just want to start competing in the Chinese Basketball Association.
That’s where a good part of their team will be playing this season as forward Kenyon Martin became the third member of the Nuggets to head East during this NBA lockout. Martin’s agent, Andy Miller, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that his client has agreed to a one-year deal to play with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers this season.
"He's looking forward to the opportunity and global expansion of his image/game," Miller wrote in an email. "He's feeling great."
Martin joins Nuggets teammates J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler in the CBA this season. And that is critical because the CBA has forced NBA players to commit for an entire season, which means they will not be able to opt out if the NBA lockout ends anytime soon.
Nuggets players Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari have also agreed to play with teams overseas but they have opt-out contracts, which means they can return once the lockout is over. But with the NBA owners and players seeming so far apart on critical issues, the one-year agreements could be a good gamble for some NBA players.
Should the lockout end anytime soon, the Nuggets will have to scramble to assemble a few free agents to replace Martin, Wilson and Smith. Martin has been a mainstay in the paint in Denver for years, but he does appear to be on the decline. He missed the first 26 games last season after having another knee operation. He averaged 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds upon his return last season.
(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)