Rival Coach Sends Strong Message About Caleb Martin Starting Role

Stephen Curry and Caleb Martin

Getty Caleb Martin #16 of the Miami Heat is guarded by Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors

The Miami Heat made a surprising decision this season to run it back with largely the same team as last year’s squad that made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals. All long summer Miami was rumored to be in talks to acquire a superstar to team up with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, however, nothing materialized from the trade talks. Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell were both linked to Miami, but none of those trades ever got anywhere. 

One change that did happen to the Heat’s lineup was the departure of their starting power forward PJ Tucker, who signed with the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason. The Heat filled the hole left by Tucker by sliding the newly re-signed Caleb Martin into their starting lineup to start the season. 

Eastern Conf. Coach on Caleb Martin Role at Power Forward

So far this season, Martin has made the most of his opportunity in the Heat starting lineup. While he is a bit undersized, he has exceeded some expectations in his role as Miami’s starting power forward where he is averaging 11.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and is shooting nearly 41% from deep. In a recent conversation with Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney, an NBA coach sent major praise about Martin’s strong play in South Beach when asked about Martin and where the Heat may stand with him. 

“He has been really good for them, especially on the defensive end. He has come a long was as a defensive presence, and the fact that he can hold his own against power forwards, that speaks to his athleticism. I’d worry about the size issue, with him and Bam (Adebayo), over time, you’re looking at an undersized pair there, and that could be a problem. It could wear them out. He’s never played this many minutes, never played anything close to it—is he going to hold up? If he does, he has been a good fit there for him. I would want more help behind him, though,” the Eastern Conference Coach told Heavy Sports. 

Potential Heat Roster Moves

While Martin has performed well in his time starting, the Heat could still look to add size and big man depth this season. Duncan Robinson has been said to officially be available for trades, and one player that has been attached in potential Robinson talks has been Dallas Mavericks backup big man Davis Bertans. 

“If Miami is looking for a starting power forward, wants to move off Robinson’s hefty contract and doesn’t want to lose a pick in the process, getting Bertans is a low-risk move,” Greg Swartz wrote for Bleacher Report. “A fresh start playing next to an elite shot-creator in Luka Dončić could be just what Robinson needs to get back to becoming one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA.”

One of the bright spots for the Heat in a deal for Davis Bertans is that they could do this deal without including a draft pick in the deal. Due to his large contract, Robinson is hard to deal without including a draft pick in the trade package. With Bertans, they get back shooting, they lose in dealing Robinson, but they also get a shorter contract. Bertans contract has an early termination option following next season, and there is that upside in a deal. 

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