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.
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