Cartier Martin Reportedly Scammed Out Of His 10-Day Contract Money

J. David Salinas was a Houston area businessman and the founding operator of the Houston Select AAU program before he committed suicide earlier this month amid an investigation into his businesses by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  He was sixty years-old when he died, and the story can stop right there and be tragically depressing enough.  Only it keeps getting sadder. 

Sports Illustrated reported earlier this month that more than a dozen current and former college coaches including Billy Gillespie, Lute Olson, Scott Drew, and Mark Few combined to lose over $7.8 million in a ponzi scheme Salinas was allegedly both running and being investigated for.  That’s horrible for those people, but it would be even worse, though, if you weren’t a high profile coach who already banked tens of millions of dollars.  It may be especially bad if you ended up getting your 10-day NBA contract money ripped from you by a person you knew since you were a teenager.

Cartier Martin first met J. David Salinas when he played for Salinas’ AAU Program in Houston as a high schooler. According to an SI report yesterday, as soon as Martin was able to put a few hundred thousand together by way of stops in Europe, the D-League, and most notably fifty-two games last season for the Wizards before being cut on April 6th, he made the unfortunate decision to allegedly invest his money with a guy he knew most of his life.

According to Pablo Torre,

“Last week, reported that several coaches and athletic administrators were scammed out of millions by the late Houston-area money manager and AAU operator David Salinas. After reviewing documents, and in conjunction with a forthcoming story in this week’s Sports Illustrated, can add more names to the list.  The dollar figure following each name is the most recent valuation of their particular at-risk investment, which was purported to be in corporate bonds.  Two NBA players, 2010 Warriors lottery pick Ekpe Udoh ($350,000) and former Wizards swingman Cartier Martin ($374,000), were confirmed to be clients by SI.”

That’s a lot of money for anybody to lose, but especially so for a guy who just got cut.  It’s tough for me to blame Martin or call him stupid for making the investment too, despite the fact that it did turn out pretty awfully for him.  I have to imagine that when Cartier first met this Salinas guy as a young kid, he appeared to be an ultra-successful businessman.  Not only that, but he’s also handled the money of – and was reportedly friends with – people like Lute Olson and Mark Few.  From all accounts, he appeared legit to everybody and he had to seem especially so to a young kid like Martin.  Fast forward a few years, Martin makes a few dollars in the league, and he probably thought he was doing the right thing by investing some money with what seemed to be a reputable guy he’s known for years.  Only now that money’s gone.

I’m not sure about the tie that Ekpe Udoh had to Salinas, other than the fact that he played for Scott Drew who’s listed as another guy who got swindled.  And I don’t mean to minimize his situation at all either.  He was able to squeeze a little bit more money out of this game than Martin has been able to so far, by way of his first round contract.  But it’s still a pretty rough way to go regardless of how much he was starting within comparison.  Hopefully the NBA opens up its doors sooner than later I guess, and both these guys get a chance to start earning some of this money back as soon as they can.  


About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.