NBA Rumors: Kenyon Martin Wouldn't Solve Boston Celtics' Rebounding Problem

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 17:   Kenyon Martin #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 17, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics have a problem.

It's a problem the team attempted to solve over the offseason, but couldn't. And it's now a problem they may hope Kenyon Martin can solve. But he won't.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, seldom used Boston reserve Darko Milicic is leaning toward leaving the team in favor of returning to Serbia to be with his ill mother. While it's never easy to replace a player who opts to leave because of extenuating circumstances—even if he isn't thrilled with his lack of playing time—Milicic's potential departure opens up a roster spot.

Enter Martin.

Yes, the same Martin who refused to sign with any team for the veteran's minimum prior to the start of the season. The same Martin who is now desperate for work.

And yes, the same Martin who Wojnarowski notes the Celtics still have a soft spot for:

The Celtics had considered signing free-agent forward Kenyon Martin this offseason, but ultimately chose Collins, Chris Wilcox and Milicic over him. Some Celtics' veterans have been pushing for the team to sign Martin.

Boston hasn't completely ruled out an eventual conversation with Martin about a role on the team, but the most likely scenario would be for the Celtics to hold onto the roster spot and see who else might become available in the next couple of months.

The Celtics have several similar forward-types to Martin, and would likely try to exhaust all possibilities among backup centers.

Let's be honest, it's valiant of Boston to admit that Martin isn't going to solve its woes on the glass by exhausting all other possibilities.

Let's be even more honest, though: There aren't any available options that are going to solve the Celtics' rebounding deficiencies, Martin included.

To date, Boston—once again—sits at the very bottom of the NBA's rebounding hierarchy, snagging a mere 36.82 per game. 

Terrible? Most definitely. But the Celtics, along with the rest of us, should have seen this coming.

Additions like Jared Sullinger were supposed to increase Boston's competency on the glass, but he's a rookie with documented back issues. Was he really going to shift the culture?

Not at all. Milicic and Jason Collins are no rebounding saviors as well. And Martin won't be either.

Is Martin more athletic than the aforementioned three put together? Yes, and he's a more than capable rebounder, who grabbed 4.2 rebounds in just over 22 minutes per game with the Los Angeles Clippers that season.

That said, Martin is 34 and hardly capable of playing 30-plus minutes per game and being the rebounding force Boston so clearly lacks. Even if he can give the Celtics five rebounds per night, that won't solve the issue.

Boston is currently being out-rebounded by over five boards per night—the worst differential in the league. How is one player, let alone a 34-year-old forward incapable of logging heavy minutes, supposed to solve that?

He can't. And he won't. Because the Celtics' rebounding struggles extend well beyond the need for another force on the glass.

Yes, Boston is one of the smallest teams in the league and would welcome some additional size, but it needs more than just "some additional size."

This is a team that plays one man over 6'9" on a steady basis, that man being Kevin Garnett. Sure, the 6'10" Chris Wilcox can rebound some, but he's averaging under 14 minutes per contest. Collins, Milicic and Fab Melo are seven-footers, but none of them see meaningful action.

Which leaves guys like the 6'9" Jeff Green, 6'8" Brandon Bass and 6'7" Paul Pierce to shoulder the rebounding load after Garnett. That's a problem, one that another 6'9" presence in Martin isn't going to solve.

It's not a question of will. I'm going to assume Garnett and company want to hit the glass hard. It is a matter of capability.

The NBA may be embracing the concept of small ball, but Boston is playing the smallest form of small ball. Can we honestly expect a team who plays undersized 4s and 5s to be able to box out athletes who are playing at their natural position?

Absolutely not.

Signing Martin would merely be an extension of that. The Celtics have already attempted to solve their rebounding problems using undersized post players, and it hasn't worked; Garnett still leads the team in rebounds, hoarding just 7.4 a night.

So why would this work? 

Again, it won't.

Regardless of how capable a rebounder Martin is, his abilities—and the rest of Boston's abilities—to hit the glass are negated by a continuous lack of size throughout the rotation.

That's a problem stockpiling seven-footers like Milicic didn't solve. 

Which means Martin doesn't stand a chance at solving it either.



All stats in this article are accurate as of November 20th, 2012.