Report: Miami Heat will explore Caleb Martin trade market

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Per a recent report, the Miami Heat will explore the possibility of dealing Caleb Martin with the Feb. 8 trade deadline just a few days away.

“All I’ve heard is that they’re gonna try and find a location,” Matt Moore said. “They’ll explore the market for him. The key here is, and I got banged up a little bit on a report a couple of weeks ago with the [New Orleans] Pelicans where it’s important to establish the distinction between shopping and exploring the market. And the distinction there is that, if you’re shopping a guy, you’re actively like, ‘I would like for this player to not be on my roster by the end of the year.’ Whether it’s for contract or positional, there’s a lot of reasons for that. But — you are actively like, ‘My preference would be otherwise.’ Exploring the market is like, ‘Let’s take a look and see what the options are here because the money is gonna be significant.’ I would say that there is a sense from other teams that have talked to Miami that shedding salary seems to be a larger priority than maybe they were — they originally thought, that maybe that this team is looking to trim up things pretty significantly.”

The forward showed out on a big stage against the Boston Celtics in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. Across seven appearances with the Heat during that series, he 19.3 points per game on great efficiency, considering he shot 60.2 percent from the field.

He arguably saved his best basketball of the series for the deciding Game 7, when he dropped 26 points in 45 minutes of action.

Fast forward to the current day, and Martin has appeared in 33 of the Heat’s 50 games so far in the 2023-24 regular season. He is averaging 10.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on 44.6 percent shooting from the field and 36.6 percent from deep in his third season in Miami.

The 28-year-old produced in 31 minutes of playing time off the Miami bench in the team’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 4. Martin dropped 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and 0-of-2 from 3-point range.

Miami’s loss to the Clippers marked its first loss of the last three games. Before falling to the Clippers, the Heat earned victories over the Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards.

The Heat will aim to earn their third victory of their past four games when they play the Orlando Magic at home on Tuesday night.

The Magic have been playing productive basketball lately, as the team is riding a three-game winning streak and is only a couple days removed from a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are in a tie with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the best record in the Western Conference at the moment.

While Martin hasn’t proved that he can sustain his play from the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals, he is a valuable role player for the Heat who impacts both sides of the ball. Therefore, it’s debatable as to whether the Heat should trade him prior to the trade deadline.

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