ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard reported Friday that the Clippers are one of five NBA teams pursuing former Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin.
Saturday, the Clippers indicated that their interest is serious. Coach Vinny Del Negro declined to say whether or not he had spoken to the 34-year-old personally but did compliment
"Kenyon is an experienced guy that knows how to play," Del Negro said. "He can play some four, play some five. He brings a lot of athleticism to the team."
Broussard reported that the Clippers, Heat, Spurs, Hawks and Knicks were all pursuing Martin. He wouldn't be able to join an NBA team until at least after the Chinese Basketball Association season ends Feb. 16 -- and potentially later, if his team makes the playoffs.
"Those are all speculations – there’s a lot of teams talking to a lot of different players," Del Negro said Saturday. "I’m pleased with our group right now, but we’re always looking to add good character, quality, competitive guys to the roster."
Martin played with current Clipper Chauncey Billups for parts of three seasons in Denver. Billups said he highly recommended his former teammate's services.
"I think he’s very valuable," Billups said. "He comes from winning stock. He’s been to the finals twice, has great ability and is a leader. He’s one of the great one-on-one big man defenders that I’ve played with.
"One thing I know about Kenyon: He’s a winner. He’ll do whatever it takes to win."
A common knock on Martin for much of his NBA career has been his attitude. Critics say his disposition can be and has proven to be cancerous to some squads. Billups said that couldn't be further from the truth.
"Contrary to what everybody believes, he’s really a good dude," Billups said of Martin.
Asked if he planned to recruit Martin to come to the Clippers in the coming weeks, Billups laughed.
“I already have been,” he said.