Kelan Martin may not be a name that most NBA fans know, but he certainly has the potential to make that happen. After going undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft, Martin signed a deal to play for the Utah Jazz in the NBA Summer League. He had a solid all-around showing at Summer League, but there are still some questions regarding his NBA future.
Throughout the draft process, there were very few scouts and analysts who talked about Martin. He was not given credit for the success that he found and the game he showed in college while playing for the Butler Bulldogs.
Last season at Butler, Martin ended up averaging 21.2 points per game to go along with 6.3 rebounds. He shot 51.4 percent from the field overall and showed off his range with a 36.4 percent mark from beyond the three-point arc. Butler is a school that is well-respected, but Martin did not get that same respect ahead of the draft.
During Summer League while playing for the Jazz, Martin ended up averaging 6.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. He showed flashes of being a more than capable role player early on in his career. Martin also had an impressive 13-point and eight-rebound performance against the San Antonio Spurs in Summer League play.
All of that being said, Martin was willing to sit down for an exclusive interview with our own Evan Massey. We hope that you enjoy this interview and begin watching Martin play and supporting him moving forward.
First up, finding out how the draft process went for Martin was the pressing question.
“It was a grind, from flying all over the country to work out for different teams, it was exhausting because the workouts I did back in Indianapolis were pretty hard but it was worth it. I enjoyed the process overall, by the time I had my last workout I was ready to take a break because I was so tired and my body needed a break but the process was enjoyable.”
We also talked about how Summer League went and what the process of playing for the Jazz was like.
“It was a great experience. Being able to play for an actual NBA team and playing for coaches that are on the staff. I would describe my experience as a learning experience. I learned a lot from NBA players and different guys that played on actual rosters. But overall again I enjoyed playing and having the opportunity to play in a summer league event.”
For those who haven’t seen Martin play, he was happy to break down how his game fits into the NBA.
“I can do multiple things that’ll help an NBA team win games. I’m always going to be known as a scorer but I can defend multiple positions, rebound, and do things that’ll help the team win. I can come off ball screens scoring in the P&R setting make plays for my teammates, shoot the ball from deep, attacking the basket, getting to the free throw line as well. I feel like I have an NBA game.”
Everyone knows Kelan Martin can score. What makes him a potential NBA player is his defensive versatility. Currently holding his own defensively while matching up with Jaren Jackson. #ProDawgs #TakeNote
— Lukas Harkins (@hardwiredsports) July 15, 2018
Martin also was honest and open about what he thinks his biggest strengths and weaknesses are at this point in his career.
“Biggest strength would be scoring the ball and rebounding and my weakness is shooting the ball consistently.”
While the Jazz did not give him much info about his NBA future, they did say that he should end up in a good position.
“Didn’t have too much to say to me besides keep working you’ll end in a great position if not with us then somewhere else.”
— NBA (@NBA) July 6, 2018
He also mentioned that at this point in time he is not sure where he will play next season and that he is talking with his agent about possibilities.
“Not sure at this point. I’m still talking with my agent.”
Many fans love to hear a player talk about a potential comparison to a current player. Martin has some intriguing names that have a similar game as his.
“Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder. Strong, physical, tough, can defend and score the ball.”
If you’re a young basketball player with dreams of playing NBA basketball, Martin has some advice for you.
“Take advantage of every opportunity you have and know that everyone’s path is different. Don’t get caught up with being drafted or undrafted.”
Kelan Martin is very intriguing from a defensive stand point… quick enough to guard 2’s and 3’s and big/long enough to guard 4’s.
— Mark (@MarkW_E01) July 9, 2018
When asked why scouts and analysts didn’t give him credit throughout the draft process, Martin was very quick to the point.
“[They thought] that I couldn’t play defense or didn’t do anything besides scoring.”
Away from the game, Martin talked about what kind of person teams and fans can expect.
“A quiet guy who has a good personality, stay to myself, not one who really goes out the way, I love to play video games and hang with my friends.”
Even though Martin has not received hype thus far in his career, anyone who has watched him play knows how talented he is and how good he could end up being.
Whether he sticks with the Jazz or signs elsewhere, the future is bright for the former Butler forward.