Caleb Martin is not a household name in the NBA, but he is quickly making a case for himself as one of the most valuable players on the Miami Heat roster. The 27-year-old small forward, who went undrafted in 2019, has been a revelation for the Heat this season, providing energy, defense, and scoring off the bench.
Martin, who played college basketball for the NC State Wolfpack and the Nevada Wolf Pack, signed a two-way contract with the Charlotte Hornets in 2019. He spent most of his rookie season in the G League, averaging 19.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game for the Greensboro Swarm. He also appeared in 18 games for the Hornets, averaging 6.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game.
In his second season, Caleb Martin saw more action with the Hornets, playing in 53 games and starting in four. He improved his averages to 7.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. He also showed flashes of his potential, such as when he scored a career-high 23 points against the Washington Wizards on March 30, 2021.
Joining the Heat
Caleb Martin was waived by the Hornets on August 7, 2021, making him a free agent. He was then picked up by the Miami Heat on a two-way contract on August 16, 2021. The Heat were looking for depth and versatility at the wing position after losing Trevor Ariza and Andre Iguodala in free agency.
Caleb Martin-Impact with the Heat
Caleb Martin has exceeded all expectations with the Heat so far, earning praise from his teammates and coaches for his hustle, toughness, and confidence. He has become a regular rotation player for the Heat, playing in 28 games and starting in six. He is averaging career-highs of 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 25 minutes per game. He is also shooting a career-best 46.3% from the field and 38% from three-point range.
Martin has also been clutch for the Heat in several games, such as when he scored a season-high 28 points against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 8, 2021, or when he hit a game-winning three-pointer against the Detroit Pistons on December 12, 2021. He has also been a defensive stopper for the Heat, guarding some of the best players in the league such as Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Luka Doncic.
Caleb Martin-All-Two-Way Team
Martin’s impressive performance has earned him a spot on the NBA’s All-Two-Way Team for December 2021, along with his twin brother Cody Martin of the Hornets. The Martin twins are the first siblings to make the All-Two-Way Team in NBA history.
Caleb Martin-Future with the Heat
Martin’s contract situation is still uncertain, as he is only eligible to play in up to 50 games for the Heat this season under his two-way deal. However, there have been reports that the Heat are interested in converting his contract to a standard NBA deal before the deadline of January 15, 2022.
Martin has proven that he belongs in the NBA and that he can contribute to a contending team like the Heat. He has shown that he is not afraid of any challenge or any opponent and that he can play with passion and poise. He is a testament to the power of hard work and perseverance and an inspiration to all undrafted players who dream of making it to the league.