The Miami Heat have consistently elevated players to the active roster by pulling from their own summer league or training camp, but the franchise suddenly swerved to sign an outside forward in free agency this past summer.
The Heat signed forward Caleb Martin to a two-way contract after he was waived by the Charlotte Hornets in August. The 26-year-old went undrafted out of Nevada before signing with the Hornets in 2019. His twin brother, Cody Martin, a second-round pick of the 2019 draft, was also signed by Charlotte and remains on the team for the 2021-22 NBA season.
The latest Heat news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Heat newsletter here!
On Monday night, Martin will face his brother as an opponent for the first time in nearly a decade when the Hornets travel to Miami for their next preseason tilt.
“It’s been years,” Marting said of facing his twin in competition, per Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman. “I think the only times that we really got a chance to do that was the NBA Top 100 camp my junior year of high school. I think that’s really the only time we played each other in an organized setting.”
Martin will get another chance to play against Cody Martin during the regular season on October 29.
Martin Said ‘It Stung’ Getting Waived By the Hornets
Martin knew that he and his brother wouldn’t be able to play on the same team forever, but he didn’t know how soon that day would come. “It was kind of just like, ‘Damn, today’s the day,'” Martin said. “Our time ran out.
“Obviously, it stung for a little while, the fact that I got waived. But at the end of the day, Charlotte gave me my opportunity coming in as an undrafted free agent and allowed me to play in my home state with my twin brother for two years. So I’m definitely grateful for that opportunity and those experiences.”
During the 2020-21 season, Martin averaged 5.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Under a two-way contract agreement, Martin will be on the Heat’s active roster for 50 of the season’s 82 games, while also developing with the G-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce.
It’s not clear how much playing time Martin will see with the Heat. The former Mountain West Player of the Year has had an uneven NBA career thus far. After nailing 54.1% on threes during his rookie season, he shot just 24.8% from deep last season.
Martin Is Quickly Acclimating to Heat Culture
While going from a standard contract to a two-way deal is technically a demotion, Martin is looking at his opportunity with the Heat as glass-half-full.
“They bring guys that they believe can contribute or that they believe they can mold into culture guys that they want to keep around,” Martin told Miami Herald‘s Anthony Chiang last month. “Even though I’m a two-way, my goal is to come in and make an impact right away with my experience and my skill set and my athleticism and just be active. Just feed into that culture and just bring a different type of intensity and spark off the bench.”
“I think this certain situation just puts you in a different mindset and a mode where you’re on your own and you just dive into your game, work, and your craft,” Martin said of not having his brother around. “Obviously it’s been a little bit different. But I think it’s been a lot smoother than I kind of anticipated.”