Celtics Killer Floated as Sixers Free Agent Target

Caleb Martin

Getty Caleb Martin

Because the Philadelphia 76ers are one of the few playoff contenders with cap flexibility, adding a star would make for a dream offseason. However, they will have to fill out the rest of their roster with a playoff rotation. One player who could help them is Miami Heat swingman Caleb Martin.

In a May 20 story, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale explained Martin’s appeal as a rotation player.

“Martin is an ideal complement to a larger ecosystem. His offensive efficiency dipped this past season (53.1 true shooting), but by and large, he can knock down standstill treys, attack downhill, keep the rock moving and ping around the half-court without the ball.”

Favale further explained how Martin’s specific skillset could help the Sixers.

“His defense, meanwhile, has degrees of ferocity. He maneuvers through traffic swiftly, contests shots from all angles, delivers timely and effective double teams, and uses a fluid lateral gait to keep pace with downhill attackers.

“At 6’5”, he is best deployed against guards, but he’s frequently held his own tussling with bigger wings and forwards.

“Two-way complements are an important part of any contending roster. The Sixers need them, especially if they can’t convince Nicolas Batum to postpone retirement. And definitely, if De’Anthony Melton leaves in free agency (or his back issues linger).”

Caleb Martin Played Huge Role in Heat Beating Celtics in 2023

Martin earned his reputation as a Celtics killer for his performance against them in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals.

In the Heat’s seven-game series against the Celtics, Martin averaged 19.3 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting a blistering 60.2% from the field and 48.9% from three. This included a 26-point performance in their series-clinching Game 7 victory in Boston.

Martin was efficient overall for the Heat during their Cinderella run to the NBA Finals in 2023. However, his stats in that Celtics series alone were exceptional compared to his numbers overall. In 23 games, Martin averaged 12.4 points while shooting 52.9% from the field and 42.3% from three.

Martin did not put up the same numbers during their 2024 rematch, but that can be attributed to the Heat not playing at full strength with Jimmy Butler out.

Since the start of the Joel Embiid era, the Celtics have beaten the Sixers in all three playoff matchups. Adding Martin could potentially give the Sixers the edge, knowing what he’s done to Boston.

Miami May Not Be Able to Keep Caleb Martin: Report

Martin has found himself in Miami, but despite his growth as a player, the team may not be able to give him the raise he likely wants.

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson explained why the Heat acquiring Terry Rozier would make the prospect of keeping Martin a problem.

“When the Heat opted to take on the final 2.5 years of Terry Rozier’s contract in January… it also made keeping Caleb Martin highly unlikely and retaining Haywood Highsmith far more difficult,” Jackson wrote in a May 13 story.

Because of the Heat’s cap situation, keeping Martin will be a tall task for them. Since the Sixers have plenty of money, they could easily pay him enough to price him out of Miami.

Martin is not a star, but he has proven himself in the postseason.

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