Potential Miami Heat trade chip Caleb Martin recently gave a deflated response when asked about the messy Damian Lillard situation heading into the 2023-24 regular season.
“It’s tough at times, I’m sure,” Martin told the Miami Herald when asked how he thinks the Heat will deal with the roster uncertainty in training camp. “Everybody is human, man. You got to think about certain things, you hear certain stuff or whatever. But you kind of just get to a point where it’s like whatever is going to happen is going to happen. There’s nothing you can do about it by sitting there and thinking about it. So you don’t really have any type of control over that. At the end of the day, teams are going to try to build the best team and some things have to happen in order to do that. That’s just what comes with the business. The more you understand that and the more you kind of accept that then the easier it will be. It’s not easy having to think about it. But that’s just what comes with the business and it happens all the time.”
Martin then spoke about how he personally deals with trade speculation.
“Obviously, I love for somebody to keep it real with you and they know that,” he said. “But again, I’m not going to sit here and kill myself mentally over something I can’t control. So that’s what I’ve kind of learned over the years, especially the last two seasons. That’s the good part about having value and sometimes that’s the tricky part of having value. That’s what comes with being valuable. It’s not always a bad problem to have, but it’s not always in your favor.”
Martin went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft following four seasons of college basketball — two at North Carolina State University and two at the University of Nevada.
The 6-foot-5 wing’s best season of college basketball came during his senior season, the 2018-19 season, when he was a member of the Wolf Pack. Martin averaged 19.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game across 34 appearances with the Wolf Pack as a senior (33 starts).
Martin’s contributions on both ends of the floor as a senior translated into modest success for the 2018-19 iteration of the Wolf Pack. They finished the season with an excellent 29-5 record but lost to the University of Florida in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament by a final score of 70-61. Martin scored 19 points but converted just five of his 22 field-goal attempts in the loss.
The 27-year-old has played for two teams — the Charlotte Hornets and Heat — across his four seasons in the NBA. He averaged 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in 71 games played with the Heat during the 2022-23 regular season.
For as solid as Martin was for the Heat during the 2022-23 regular season, he elevated his level of play during the 2023 postseason. He averaged 12.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 23 playoff appearances for Miami. The wing also shot the ball with impressive accuracy from the field during the playoffs, seeing as he converted 52.9 percent of his field-goal attempts and 42.3 percent of his three-point attempts.
Martin’s best series of the 2023 playoffs came in the Eastern Conference Finals against Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics. He was arguably Miami’s best player in that series, as he averaged 19.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 60.2 percent from the field.
Here’s to hoping that Martin will still be a member of the Heat once the 2023-24 regular season tips off next month. After all, he was an invaluable part of the Heat team that made it all the way to the NBA Finals a season ago.