Heat swingman Caleb Martin has played so well during the 2021/22 NBA season that it makes the fact he was snagged on merely a two-way deal this summer somewhat miraculous. Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald assesses how the Miami front office stole yet another gem during the offseason. “Honestly, I wasn’t too surprised just based on my numbers from Charlotte,” Martin said of his joining the Heat after his Hornets tenure ended in the team waiving him. “I really don’t blame anybody for not picking me up off waivers. But it’s my job to continue to prove to people that I’m more than that.”
Martin is averaging career-highs of 9.3 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 1.0 SPG, in a career-23.1 MPG, on .505/.374/.734 shooting spilts. Chiang hails Martin as a crucial 3-and-D wing reserve. Because Martin has also emerged as a consistent outside shooting threat, he is being covered more along the three-point line, which in turn allows him to blow past closer defenders for more inside scoring. Chiang notes that the Heat will have to convert Martin’s two-way contract into a standard deal prior to the postseason so that Martin can keep contributing on both ends for Miami during the playoffs.
There’s more out of the Southeast Division:
- Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, the second-longest-tenured head coach in the NBA, has been his typically inventive self this season, working his magic to make the 32-18 Miami the top seed in the East, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Spoelstra has found ways to maximize new addition P.J. Tucker as well as bench players like Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Dewayne Dedmon and the aforementioned Caleb Martin.
- Heat reserve center Omer Yurtseven has entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Chiang adds that starting point guard Kyle Lowry (personal reasons), Markieff Morris (neck injury) and KZ Okpala (sprained right wrist) will also not be traveling with the club for the start of its upcoming road trip today.
- Heat shooting guard Victor Oladipo, a former two-time All-Star with the Pacers, is traveling with Miami on the team’s road trip, Chiang tweets. Though Oladipo remains out for now, the fact that he is with his teammates would appear to indicate that he is closer to suiting up once again. Oladipo is recovering from a surgery he underwent in May to repair his right quadriceps tendon.