Former Rockets forward reveals reasoning behind his departure: ‘Strictly NBA business’

KJ Martin was the first player Rafael Stone drafted as general manager of the Houston Rockets. Stone acquired the 52nd pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and used it to land the former IMG Academy prospect.

Martin spent the next three seasons as a staple of the Rockets’ young roster. However, his tenure with the organization came to an end in July when the Rockets traded him to the Los Angeles Clippers to make room for the number of veterans Stone added before the franchise entered Phase II of its rebuilding project.

Martin felt no resentment at his departure. On Thursday afternoon, the now Philadelphia 76ers forward took to social media to reveal that his departure from Houston was “strictly an NBA matter.”

Martin appeared in 206 games for the Rockets, averaging 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds. He scored a career-high 31 points in the Rockets’ 130-125 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in March 2023. His play was a testament to the potential that once made former coach Stephen Silas proud. of their development during their time together in Houston.

“He was out there just doing what he does,” Silas said after Martin’s career night against the Grizzlies. “He is an expert at that. He was very aggressive and attacked the rim. He remains consistent and that is important in his development.”

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