LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 03: Kenyon Martin #4 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates after scoring a basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA basketball game at Staples Center on April 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. 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 Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Kenyon Martin Reportedly Agrees To Join Clippers, But Chinese Officials Are Protesting Early Exit

Kenyon Martin has reportedly reached a deal with the L.A. Clippers after leaving the Chinese Basketball Association. But China is demanding that the power forward honor his contract and that FIBA reverse its decision to grant clearance.

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Kenyon Martin Reportedly Reaches Deal With Clippers

Kenyon Martin, cleared by FIBA this week to return to the NBA after a partial season in the Chinese Basketball Association, has reached a deal with the L.A. Clippers, reports the Los Angeles Times. The deal is said to be worth the mini mid-level exception, which is for up to $9.3 million over three seasons. It's unclear for how long Martin's deal will run.

It's also unclear how the NBA will deal with pressure from Chinese officials claiming that Martin is required to wait until the end of his CBA team's season on February 16 before he can sign a deal with any other league. The Chinese government passed a rule during the NBA lockout barring teams from signing players under NBA contract -- Martin was a free agent -- and disallowing teams from releasing NBA players once the lockout ended. But Martin applied for FIBA clearance after Chinese officials reportedly failed to respond to a request from the veteran power forward. The international governing body granted that request, and the NBA notified teams this week that Martin was available.

Martin will back up Blake Griffin in L.A., and likely serve as the third big in the rotation as did Reggie Evans. Evans is averaging 16 minutes per game in that role. Martin averaged a career low 26 minutes per game last season.

For more on L.A.'s best team, visit Clips Nation.


China Reportedly Fighting FIBA On Kenyon Martin's NBA Return

Kenyon Martin had received clearance by FIBA, the international basketball governing body, this week to sign with an NBA team after the Chinese Basketball Association had reportedly failed to respond to a request to leave from the veteran power forward. But Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Chinese officials are fighting FIBA's clearance and are demanding that Martin remain ineligible to sign with an NBA team until his CBA team's season ends, likely in two weeks unless they make a playoff run.

Wojnarowski also reports that the other American players in China, including Martin's longtime Denver Nuggets teammate J.R. Smith, are irate about the situation because it has made it more difficult for them to reach a deal to return to the NBA early.

The L.A. Clippers, Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks are reportedly top options for Martin, an experienced defender and former No. 1 pick. He has spent his entire NBA career with the New Jersey Nets and Nuggets.

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