The Miami Heat have agreed to terms with free agent Caleb Martin. The sharpshooter signed a three-year $20 million deal to return to South Beach and play for the Heat. Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to break the news via Twitter.
After being waived by the Charlotte Hornets last season Martin was invited to an open scrimmage for the Heat where he ultimately earned an offer from Miami. However, how he got the open scrimmage invite from the Heat is an interesting one. Grammy winning rapper J. Cole helped facilitate the relationship between Martin and the Miami Heat and now Martin has found a home with the Heat franchise.
How J. Cole Helped Caleb Martin Join the Heat
After being waived by the Hornets fellow North Carolina native J. Cole reached out to his friend, Heat assistant coach Caron Butler who helped facilitate the relationship.
“J. Cole ended up having a connection with Caron here, which I didn’t know about before,” Martin said to the Miami Herald. “That was after I got waived and he just saw how tough the process was on me trying to figure out my next move and he just wanted to see if he could help and use his connect.”
Butler took the information and decided invite Martin to an open scrimmage in South Florida last summer. Obviously, Martin was impressive and earned a spot on the Heat roster. Martin credits Butler for raising the bar for him and playing a large role in the connection.
“He was huge, man,” Martin said of Cole. “Because I think here at the time, they already had a two-way in mind before I was even a thought. I think the fact that he reached out [to Butler] — they were boys, they were cool. I think it obviously helped that I played in the league for two years. But yeah, I just think that it would have been tough to come here and put myself in front of these guys if it wasn’t for [J. Cole]. So a good amount of it was due to him, for sure.”
Martin joined the Heat on a two-way contract and, due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols, got an opportunity to prove himself with the Heat, and the 26-year-old made the most of it.
Caleb Martin Crediting Heat Culture
Martin earned major rotation minutes for the Heat and averaged 9 points, 3 rebounds, and an assist while shooting 50 percent from the field and 41 percent from the three-point line. He credited the Heat for making him better while expressing his desire to return at the end of the season.
“I want to be here [in Miami],” he said during his exit interview Tuesday. “I got better here … I feel like my team and staff believe in me and feel I’ll get better here.”
The strong play that Martin exhibited last season is just a starting point according to the forward, he expects more to come.
“I feel like I can step in and start. It doesn’t matter what the role is and what a team needs from me, I feel like I can fill that void. My game expanded shooting-wise, being more efficient and consistent … I feel like I took big steps and I feel like I’m only going to take larger steps going forward.” Martin continued.
With his love for Heat culture and continued improvement Martin has found a home in Miami and has Heat lifer written all over him.