Knicks may have gotten a steal in their 2023 undrafted forward

Florida High senior forward Jaylen Martin signs his contract with Overtime Elite on Sept. 8 at Florida High.
Florida High senior forward Jaylen Martin signs his contract with Overtime Elite on Sept. 8 at Florida High. /

New York Knicks fans, you might have noticed in this year’s draft that picks No. 4 and No. 4, the Thompson twins Amen and Ausar, were not drafted from a typical big-name college, but instead from OTE (Overtime Elite), a relatively new league offering the world’s most talented young players a smarter path to becoming a pro.

Overtime Elite pays youngsters to play, educate them, and train them for both the physical and mental grit required for the NBA. OTE products are the future.

Knicks signed Overtime Elite prospect Jaylen Martin to a two-way contract

Amidst Summer League and trade conjecture, 19-year-old swingman Jaylen Martin, just one of four OTE players in this year’s draft, has a chance to slide into the end of the Knicks bench come October. Martin averaged 14 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game with OTE last season.

At six-foot-six, 205 pounds, and with an impressive seven-foot wingspan, one might think Martin isn’t the backup power forward many are hoping Isaiah Roby will be. Realistically, he will probably end up in and out of stints with the Westchester Knicks.

However, Jaylen Martin’s defense and rapid development make his upside unknown and exciting. He has the length and athleticism to become a great crash rebounder in New York’s system and is a strong off-ball motion scorer. He sort of resembles a young Trevor Ariza.

NBA journeyman Damien Wilkins, now GM & Head of Basketball for Overtime Elite, had this to say about Martin:

"“Jaylen Martin is one of those players that’s just special. He’s smart, a team player and you can always depend on him to be a leader. His precision shooting from three combined with his ability to get to the basket in tough situations makes him a major offensive threat. I expect Jaylen to have a successful and impactful pro career as he continues to get comfortable and confident in his new NBA setting.”"

Martin also has a track record of excelling in crunch time. He sunk a game-winning floater against the Orlando Magic in Wednesday’s Summer League contest.

Also, last season, he put up 24.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG on 43/38/68 splits during the three-game OTE semifinals series.

Jaylen Martin was developed by a young institution that is extremely invested in its players. Before OTE, Martin had a bond with his coach, ex-Knick Charlie Ward, during his time at Florida State University High School. The path to minutes might be rocky but don’t be surprised if Jaylen Martin gets a window of opportunity in the Garden this season.