Heat Make Unexpected Move to Sign Ex-Hornets Forward: Report

Caleb Martin heat

Getty Caleb Martin #10 of the Charlotte Hornets shoot a free throw against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on April 28, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Miami Heat has consistently added players from their own summer league or training camp, but the franchise suddenly swerved to sign an outside forward in free agency.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania was first to break the news on Tuesday that the Heat were adding former Charlotte Hornets forward Caleb Martin to the roster. Not only does he fill the 20th and final spot for training camp, but he’s snagged the Heat’s last remaining two-way contract.

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“Free agent forward Caleb Martin is signing a two-way contract with the Miami Heat, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium,” Charania tweeted. Martin spent his first two seasons playing alongside his brother Cody in Charlotte; now they will compete in the same division.”

Martin, whose 6-foot-5 went undrafted out of Nevada before signing with the Hornets. After two years with the team, Charlotte waived him in August. His twin brother, Cody Martin, a second-round pick of the 2019 draft, also played for the Nevada Wolf Pack, and will remain in Charlotte.

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.

Marcus Garrett Earned Miami Heat’s Other 2-Way Contract

On September 2, Miami signed summer league stud Marcus Garrett to one of their two-way contracts. “Teams also are allowed to carry up to two additional players on two-way contracts, which this season will pay $463,000,” Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman reported.

Garrett, 22, showed off serious skill during his first four games in the Heat’s summer league. The three-time Big 12 All-Defensive selection averaged 11 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 steals, and 0.8 blocks while shooting 65.4% from the floor and 42.9% on threes.

Miami Heat’s 2021-22 NBA Roster So Far

While the Heat said goodbye to Kendrick Nunn, Andre Iguodala, Trevor Ariza, and Nemanja Bjelica, the team also lost Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa in the deal that brought Kyle Lowry to Miami.

While the Heat could sign one more player to a standard contract, a team can have 15 players on their active roster, but it seems unlikely Miami will expand further if they want to stay below the luxury tax. As it stands, the Heat are “less than $1 million under the $137 million tax line and a bit over $6 million below the $143 million hard cap,” Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported.

After signing Martin and Garrett to two-way contracts, the following 14 players are locked in for the Heat’s 2021-22 NBA season:

Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, P.J. Tucker, Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, KZ Okapala, Dewayne Dedmon, Markieff Morris, Victor Oladipo, Udonis Haslem, and Omer Yurtseven.

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