17 Games With Cartier Martin In A Lockout-Shortened Season: Martin Shoulda Been Startin' | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

17 Games With Cartier Martin In A Lockout-Shortened Season: Martin Shoulda Been Startin'

Updated: May 25, 2012

[NOTE: Truth About It.net 2011-12 Player Reviews continue, where we take a look at the past, present and future of those players who have touched the Wizards franchise during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season. Now, we review a player who has had an on-again, off-again relationship with the Washington Wizards—Cartier Martin. TAI’s Adam McGinnis and John Converse Townsend look back on Martin’s 17 games in a lockout-shortened season. -Kyle W.]

Player Review Index:  Morris Almond (we’d like to)  |  Andray Blatche  |  Trevor Booker  |  Brian Cook (maybe)  |  Jordan Crawford  |  Maurice Evans  |  Rashard Lewis  |  Shelvin Mack  |  Cartier Martin  |  Roger Mason Jr.  |  JaVale McGee  |  Nenê  |  Kevin Seraphin (coming soon)  |  Chris Singleton  |  James Singleton  |  Ronny Turiaf (meh)  |  Edwin Ubiles (we’ll see)  |  Jan Vesely  |  John Wall  |  Nick Young


It was late March and the Wizards were 11-34 when Cartier Martin received the call—suddenly, his NBA dreams were back into focus. Last summer, Martin had taken his talents to China to play for the Jilin Northeast Tigers, a team in need of leadership and scoring, two areas of strength for the 6’7″ swingman out of Crockett, TX.

In 30 games in the Chinese Basketball Association, Martin averaged 26.3 points and 4.7 rebounds (well above his career averages in the NBA), before joining the Iowa Energy, the Washington Wizards’ D-League affiliate. His move from the Far East to the Midwest didn’t affect Martin’s game; in seven contests for the Energy, Martin averaged 18.3 points per game and shot 15-for-27 from 3-point range.

In just his second game with the Wiz this spring, Martin tied a career-high scoring mark (at the time) with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including four made 3-pointers, and six rebounds off the bench against the Sixers. A few weeks later, Martin had the best scoring output of his NBA career with 22 points on 15 shots (4-of-8 from deep) to go along with five rebounds and one steal in 38 minutes against the Miami Heat.

Martin averaged 9.3 points per game, nearly doubling his career average, scored in double figures in six of his 17 appearances with the Wizards this season and was twice Washington’s point leader. Martin’s .387 3-point shooting percentage not only led the Wizards, but equaled Kevin Durant’s season average.

Martin’s willingness to compete and his effectiveness around the perimeter—on both sides of the ball— earned him two 10-day contracts with the Washington Wizards and ultimately a deal for the rest of the 2011-12 season in what would be his third stint with the team in the same amount of years. Finally, stability. Kind of.

Not bad a for a guy whose love for basketball has often gone unreciprocated.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


Martin is unrestricted free agent and his recent lights out shooting for Wizards might prove to be a nice enhancement to his NBA job security. If he can continue to knock down open looks and be a serviceable defender, he’ll be in an NBA training camp this fall. However, due to potential free agent signings and draft selections, Cartier might find himself out-of-sync with Washington’s plans. There could be room at the end of the bench, but sometimes you wonder if Cartier is more than that. Or, as he’ll be 28 in November, is this latest boost in skills is the best we can expect?

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)


Martin started just two games with the Wizards this past season, but it wouldn’t be tough to argue he should have started a few more. The argument: Chris Singleton, the Wizards’ starter at small forward who, according to the DC Council 3-Star Ratings, was outplayed by the Triassic period’s finest, Rashard Lewis (0.94 out of 3 Stars to 0.98, respectively).

Martin deserved the starting job.

“I just come in and do what they ask me to do,” Martin said after a 93-85 win over the Orlando Magic—the second time the Wizards had won consecutive games all season, which prompted Coach Wittman to joke that the team ought to pay all their players with 10-day contracts next year. “I come in and hit an open shot and will defend.”

What more could you ask for?

Objectively speaking … a player capable of being more than a fringe starter.

Martin can play, and he’s clearly improved his game since his first go-round with the team. However if next season the Wizards are still flipping a coin to determine whether Martin or Singleton should start (assuming Martin, a free agent, is re-signed), chances are the team will have mismanaged a critical offseason.

—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)


A must-read feature by Rick Maese of the Washington Post highlights the difficulties Martin and his family perserved through in 2011. An excerpt:

The trouble with money

Martin appeared in 52 games for the Wizards last season before a stress fracture in his left foot prompted Washington to release him. The team paid for his surgery, but he wasn’t able to play basketball throughout the summer.

Back home in Houston, Martin’s grandmother, 86-year-old Earlier Mae Martin, had passed away, and Martin was making the 115-mile drive to Crockett for the funeral. It was a tough day for everyone in the family.

On the drive, Martin made a phone call to transfer some money — to help control spending, he had only a small amount accessible at any given time — and ran into an problem. He’d turned most of his money over to be managed by Dave Salinas, a friend and mentor. Salinas, a successful Houston area financial adviser, guided Martin through AAU ball, had been a constant confidant and even bought Martin his first car. “A father figure,” Martin calls him.

Martin didn’t know what was wrong with his account and didn’t have time to figure it out. He attended the funeral and when he turned on his phone later, he was inundated with text messages: Have you heard the news?

Salinas had shot and killed himself. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had unearthed a Ponzi scheme in which Salinas reportedly told his clients he was putting their money in corporate bonds. In all, Salinas may have defrauded more than 100 investors of more than $50 million, according to court records, and people like Martin, Texas Tech Coach Billy Gillispie and Gonzaga Coach Mark Few lost their entire investments.

Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)



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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.