15 Players the Brooklyn Nets gave up on way too soon

Brooklyn Nets Vince Carter (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Vince Carter (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets, Kenyon Martin Mandatory Credit: Harry How /Allsport /

3. Kenyon Martin

The Nets jumped up and grabbed the number one overall pick in the draft lottery in 2000. They had the seventh-worst record in the league and just a 4.4 percent of chance of landing the top selection, but it happened. New Jersey took Martin, and he was the team’s starting power forward from day one.

K-Mart helped the Nets make the NBA Finals in his second and third seasons as he just kept getting better. Martin made his first All-Star team in 2004, and New Jersey lost a seven-game series to the eventual champion Detroit Pistons in the second round of the playoffs. The Nets were one of the best teams in the league, but they decided to shake things after that loss.

According to Martin, the Nets did not offer him a contract as a restricted free agent in 2004, and they agreed to sign-and-trade him to the Denver Nuggets. His role diminished a bit in Denver, but K-Mart kept starting and being productive over his seven years in the Mile High City.

Keyon Martin dealt with injuries that slowed him in his final years, but he was a starting power forward in the NBA for a decade, and the Nets only got four of those seasons.