Report: Kings interested in Caleb Martin as NBA execs question his Heat future

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Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings are reportedly interested in trading for Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin with the trade deadline inching closer.

“While the Kings are known to have interest in a number of players who remain available, from Brooklyn’s Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale, to the [Washington] Wizards’ Delon Wright (a former King) and Miami’s Caleb Martin, those aren’t the kinds of players to likely inspire them to give up too much of the draft stock they would need for a bigger move down the line,” Sam Amick wrote. “But those kinds of players, team sources tell The Athletic, are still in play.”

Per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, NBA executives are keeping their eyes on Martin.

“Following Miami’s splash to acquire Terry Rozier, rival executives are monitoring the potential trade availability of Caleb Martin, given Miami’s salary books looking ahead,” Scotto wrote.

“With Miami projected to be over the luxury tax next season and Martin having a $7.1 million player option this summer, rival executives around the league question whether Miami will be able to retain Martin if he declines his player option and enters free agency. The current expectation is that Martin will indeed decline his player option and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.”

Martin is in his third season playing with the storied Heat organization after spending the first two seasons of his NBA career with the Charlotte Hornets. Across 35 games played with Miami thus far during the 2023-24 regular season, he is averaging 10.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from deep.

He has reached double digits in scoring in two of his last three games, with the one exception being when he dropped nine points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor and 1-of-3 from 3-point range in the Heat’s most recent game against the San Antonio Spurs on Feb. 7.

Martin dropped 11 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 4 and 11 versus the Orlando Magic two days later on Feb. 6.

The Heat and Martin have been playing solid basketball leading up to the trade deadline. They are winners of three of their last four games and have picked up victories over the Washington Wizards, Magic and Spurs during that span.

With 52 games of their regular-season schedule in the books, the Heat sit as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 28-24 record. They are just one game behind the Indiana Pacers for the No. 6 seed in the conference.

As Scotto indicated, the Heat project to exceed the luxury tax next season. But Miami would be wise not to trade Martin merely to shed salary. After all, the 28-year-old has served as a valuable player during the team’s playoff runs over the past two seasons, and he was debatably the Heat’s best player against Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals.

Hopefully for Miami, Martin will still be a member of the Heat by the end of the day on Thursday.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.