Caleb Martin Sounds Off on Starting Role ‘Challenge’ Ahead of the Season

Caleb Martin

Getty Caleb Martin #16 of the Miami Heat poses for a photo during media day at FTX Arena on September 26, 2022

The Miami Heat had their media day this week before heading off to the Bahamas for their training camp ahead of the start of the 2022-23 NBA season. The Heat had a relatively quiet offseason in regards to transactions only making additions through the draft of Nikola Jovic, but they almost always were linked in some sort of rumor. Whether it was to accomplish a blockbuster trade or add a veteran piece in free agency the Heat were usually mentioned in the discussions. 

One of the biggest question marks for the Heat came following the departure of PJ Tucker in free agency to the Philadelphia 76ers. Many have wondered how the Heat will fill their starting power forward hole. Scouts have suggested that Jimmy Butler fill the role but he has been hesitant to do so, and they have said they look to be planning on moving forward with Caleb Martin in an increased role at the four. Despite it looking like Martin would get the starting nod, the team has still been linked to rumors for players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Kelly Olynyk, and even a reunion with Jae Crowder. However, it still looks to be Martin. Haywood Highsmith has campaigned for him to be a replacement for Tucker as well. At Media Day, Martin spoke about his desire to start as well. 

Caleb Martin on Starting Heat Role

With the open slot at power forward, there was a lot of discussion at media day about if it will be Butler or who will fill the role, and all signs point to Caleb Martin. Martin spoke about his desire to start in his session with the media on Monday, September 26, at the Heat’s media day. In it he shared his desire to start for the Heat. 

“I would love to start, but as long as I’m playing and can be productive, that’s fine,” Martin said. 

With the rumors of veteran additions that swirled throughout the summer, Martin noted that it meant something to him, saying that it, “says a lot to me. I’m flattered. I accept the challenge.”

Replacing the defensive presence that Tucker brought to the Heat’s frontcourt is certainly going to be a challenge. He plays more on the wing’s so it will be interesting to see how he responds to big men in the post, and he likely won’t bring the same defense as Tucker. He is a matchup problem offensively, however, for opposing teams. Martin can shoot and move, unlike most power forwards. 

Bam Adebayo on Caleb Martin

At media day Bam Adebayo discussed his role offensively with the Heat and where he can see that improving in the upcoming NBA season, but he also talked a bit about Martin and what he could bring to the Heat’s starting lineup. 

“He’s an athletic wing. Playing on the wing is a matchup problem. He’s going to help us a lot. He’s been in the gym countless hours working on his shot.”

How Martin responds to the challenge is perhaps the most important question in South Beach this season. If he takes strides, the Heat are in a great spot to again compete in the East and overall NBA, but if it is a challenge, the Heat have a hole in their starting lineup they will need to address. 


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