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Jaylen Martin‘s deal with the Knicks and more Summer League notes

Hot summer, cold news

2023 G League Elite Camp Portraits Photo by Alex Nahorniak-Svenski/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Knicks have officially signed guard Jaylen Martin to a two-way contract, as the franchise announced on Monday.

Martin, who is 19 years old, most recently played for the Overtime Elite’s YNG Dreamerz during the 2022-23 season. In 10 regular-season games, he averaged 14.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 1.4 APG. During the playoffs, he contributed 15.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 1.5 APG in six games.

Martin’s performances led him to finish second in the league’s Most Improved Player voting. He played a crucial role in guiding his team to the Overtime Elite Championship series, although they ultimately lost to the City Reapers.

Martin joined Overtime Elite prior to the 2021-22 season, arriving early from high school when he was coached by former Knicks player Charlie Ward before leaving HS following his junior season at Florida State University HS as a four-star recruit as ranked by 247Sports and the 168th-best member of the 2022 HS class in the Composite Ranks.

Under the two-way contract he just signed, the 19-year-old wing will have the opportunity to split time with the New York Knicks, participating in NBA games, as well as playing for the Westchester Knicks, the team’s G-League affiliate next season if he’s retained by the franchise.

Martin made the decision to forego his senior year of high school to join Overtime Elite and turn professional. Speaking about his former talent before last June’s draft, coach Ward said that “it’s been a journey for him,” and that Martin “has gotten a lot better” since he left high school and turned pro.

“He’s a slasher,” Ward described his player, before adding that he has “good size” and that Martin “can defend and score the ball.” Finally, Ward warned that the youngster “still has to improve in a lot of areas like all young players have to in his position.”

Jaylen Martin, who went undrafted, is one of the most interesting prospects in the Knicks’ Summer League roster if only because he’s pretty much an unknown commodity with a rather unique amateur/pro career leading up to his deal with New York.

Writing at NBA Scouting Live, Alan Lu highlighted a few pros and cons of Martin’s player profile. Lu wrote about “excellent scoring on off-ball motion plays, decent rebounding for his size, and decent defending” while labeling Martin a “solid athlete.” In the negatives column, Lu pointed out that Martin Needs to improve his shooting “needs to improve his playmaking skills,” and that the youngster “can struggle to guard quicker players.”

NYK Summer League Players, News, and Notes

  • In addition to Martin, other players on the Knicks’ Summer League roster that will most probably catch our attention include Trevor Keels (2022 second-round pick) and DaQuan Jeffries (three years of NBA experience), both of whom were on the Knicks’ bench last season.
  • Isaiah Roby, who the Knicks surprisingly signed last April right before the playoffs, comes with 151 NBA games under his belt. Watch out, because nobody is mentioning Roby but there is a non-neglectable chance he ends up competing for the backup role as Julius Randle’s understudy at the power forward position after Obi Toppin’s trade to Indiana.
  • Rokas Jokubaitis, the 34th overall pick in 2021, and Jacob Toppin, Obi Toppin’s younger brother, are not participating in the Summer League due to prior commitments with the Lithuania international squad and a minor injury, respectively.
  • The Knicks will commence their Summer League campaign on July 8 against the 76ers, followed by matchups against the Nets (July 9), Orlando Magic (July 12), and Celtics (July 14).
  • Here is the full Summer League Roster of your New York Knickerbockers