Report: Miami Heat interested in Houston Rockets youngster K.J. Martin

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The Miami Heat didn’t make a ton of noise this offseason, and their roster going into the 2022-23 season looks a lot like their roster from the 2021-22 season.

However, the Heat are presumably still willing to make a deal if it improves their squad, and it sounds like one player that the team has interest in is K.J. Martin of the Houston Rockets.

“Rockets forward K.J. Martin, another forward known to have interest in playing elsewhere, is one player the [Phoenix] Suns have held ongoing talks about obtaining, sources said,” wrote Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports. “Portland and Miami are two other known teams with interest in Martin.”

Martin is an interesting player, and he’s only 21 years old. He’d be an intriguing addition to Miami’s roster, especially since he’s just getting started at the NBA level.

The youngster is under contract for this season, has a club option for the 2023-24 season and is set to become a restricted free agent in the 2024 offseason.

In June, NBA insider Kelly Iko reported that Martin “approached Rockets management to discuss the possibility of a trade.”

“With the reality of the incoming No. 3 pick and possibly more, second-year forward Kenyon Martin Jr. recently approached Rockets management to discuss the possibility of a trade from the franchise, sources said,” Iko wrote. “The nature of the conversation was candid. With the potential moves following Thursday’s draft, the sudden reality is there isn’t as clear of a path to minutes for Martin in the rotation. It must be stated that there’s no bad blood between the two parties. Having taken Martin in the second round of the 2020 draft and helping him achieve his NBA dream, there will always be a great amount of love and mutual respect. But Martin is at a stage in his career where he needs minutes to continue to develop, something which might not be as clear anymore in Houston. There are a number of teams — playoff contenders included — that have registered interest in Martin in the past, sources said, with his combination of age, athleticism and untapped potential deemed as attractive.”

Martin got 23.7 minutes of action per game in his rookie season, which was the 2020-21 campaign. He averaged 9.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and was surprisingly efficient for a first-year player. He shot 50.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from deep.

Last season was his sophomore campaign. He was once again impressive from an efficiency standpoint, though he got slightly less playing time (21.0 minutes per game). He averaged 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest while shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.

As Iko mentioned, Martin needs playing time at this stage of his career, and it’s unclear how much action he’d see with the Heat. However, he definitely has what it takes to give Miami a nice boost, and Heat fans would love to see the team make a splash after such a quiet summer.

The start of Miami’s 2022-23 season is getting closer, as the squad will open its campaign on Oct. 19 against the Chicago Bulls.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.