The help the Warriors needed arrived Sunday as Nellie got the small forward for which he’s been wishing. Cartier Martin is getting his shot with the Warriors. Oddly enough, it’s coming three months after it should’ve happened – at least in his mind.
MARTIN: “If I could do it again, I would’ve been here for training camp. I promise you that. But that’s an experience for me. I got a chance to go over there. It was a great life experience. But it wasn’t the best situation for me at the time. But, you know, we live and we learn.”
Martin was undrafted out of Kansas State in 2007. He was taken by the Iowa Energy in the D-League draft. He was eventually picked up by Charlotte and spent the remainder of the 2008-09 season with the Bobcats.
Martin was then given a spot on the Warriors summer league team in July. He played well enough to earn an invitation to training camp. So well, Nellie said he thought, at the time, that Martin was about as good as Azubuike. But after summer league, Martin passed on his training camp invite and signed with Benetton Treviso. According to Sportando.net, he signed a two-year deal.
In 11 games with Benetton, Martin averaged 9.9 points on 53.3 percent shooting in 23.8 minutes per game. He shot 26.9 percent from 3-point range and averaged 2.7 rebounds and 1.55 steals.
Martin left Italy in November and went back to the Energy. He played 12 games, averaging 14.4 points and 4.3 rebounds, before being called up. He had more than an inkling he would get another shot with the Warriors.
MARTIN: “I didn’t know, but I had a good feeling. I had a great feeling for this team during the summr. I was kind of iffy about leaving and going overseas. I wante dto try to come back and maybe do training camp with these guys. But athe time, I made a decision. That’s something I have to live with now. But I’m back. I’m happy to be back. I’m glad these guys gave me a chance to come back up here.”
Martin is familiar with the Warriors’ system thanks to his summer league stint. He was coached by Keith Smart and played alongside Steph Curry in summer league. Plus, Nellie doesn’t want to play Corey Maggette more than 30 minutes, and he seems to prefer Martin as the back-up SF instead of having guards Anthony Morrow or Monta Ellis play there.
He may play significant minutes Monday, some defending Lebron James. I wouldn’t be surprised if he topped 25. Nelson likes how Martin defends his position and how physical he plays. If he can rebound and knock down his first few shots, he could see a lot of time.
MARTIN: “I feel welcome. I’ve been hearing a few things myself. I’ve been kind of looking forward to getting a chance to come back and reunite. I’m real excited about being here. These guys make me feel comfortable about being here. I just want to come out here and do the best I can to help the team win and be part of the team.”