May 19, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Boris Diaw (33) and small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) defend Los Angeles Clippers power forward Kenyon Martin (2) in the second half of game three of the Western Conference semi finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Staples Center. San Antonio Spurs won 96-86. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks have interest in Kenyon Martin

With the New York Knicks playing under .500 basketball (5-6) since December 17 and the team’s defense unable to put together consistent efforts as of late, it looks like the Knicks could be looking outside of the organization for help.

May 15, 2012; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Mo Williams (25) is helped off the floor by teammate Kenyon Martin (2) during the first half in game one of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT

According to Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks are showing a renewed interest in free-agent forward Kenyon Martin.

The interest in Martin, along with the timing of the Knicks recent defensive slump both point to veteran Rasheed Wallace being out of the lineup.

Wojnarowski reports that the Knicks have done some additional fact-finding on Martin in recent days and that Martin would be open-minded about the possibility of accepting a 10-day contract to get the opportunity to prove his value to the Knicks.

Wallace has missed 12 straight games with what the Knicks call a “stress reaction” in his left foot. The uncertainty surrounding Wallace’s return has made the Knicks consider the possibility of signing Martin, sources said.

The Knicks had interest in K-Mart during the offseason, but all they could offer at the time was the veteran’s minimum and at the time Martin was seeking a larger deal, which did not come from any NBA franchise.

Wallace’s status is the “critical piece” to the Knicks signing Martin, one league official said.

Once the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, last season Martin played a reduced role with the Los Angeles Clippers after he returned from a stint playing in China.

The Knicks could interest Martin because he has good relationships with: Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd.

If signed, Martin could provide the Knicks with another tough low-post defender. Something they could really use right now with Wallace out of the lineup.

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