Sixers Encouraged to Pursue Miami Heat Role Player in Free Agency

Should the Philadelphia 76ers give Miami Heat veteran Caleb Martin a look?
Feb 14, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) controls the ball against Philadelphia 76ers guard Ricky Council IV (16) in the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) controls the ball against Philadelphia 76ers guard Ricky Council IV (16) in the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few players are guaranteed to be back on the Philadelphia 76ers next season. With loads of cap space this summer, the Sixers are looking to make some notable changes across the board to build around the star core of Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.

The latter player is on pace to get a brand new contract as he enters restricted free agency. Even after Maxey signs his much-deserved max deal, the Sixers will have room to pursue another star, along with complementary pieces.

One publication is under the belief the Sixers should pursue a member of the Miami Heat, and it’s not Jimmy Butler.

Caleb Martin facing the Philadelphia 76ers as a member of the Miami Heat.
Mar 1, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) dribbles the ball as Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) defends during the fourth quarter at Miami-Dade Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Case for Caleb Martin

Butler might be the Miami member the league is focused on from a Sixers perspective, but Dan Favale of Bleacher Report sees Caleb Martin as a potential solid free agent addition for Philadelphia.

“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. … 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.”

The Sixers are going star-hunting this season, and landing one of their top targets could leave them without the space to fund Martin’s needs.

But in the event the Sixers have an opportunity to potentially scoop up Martin as a replacement for one of their forwards who could part ways with the team, it’s an avenue worth exploring.

In three seasons with the Miami Heat, Martin started in 84 games, appearing in 195. He averaged ten points and four rebounds during that span. From three, he knocked down 37 percent of his attempts on 3.2 shots per game from behind the arc.

The Sixers currently have question marks surrounding Nic Batum and Tobias Harris. Both are set to hit the free agency market with the former playing mulling retirement and the latter player likely to leave for a bigger role on a different team.

Martin currently has a $7.1 million player option with the Heat for the 2024-2025 NBA season. He has until late June to decide whether he’ll exercise it or not. If Martin hits the free agency market, he’ll be one of the most intriguing role players. With Philly searching for ideal prospects to put on a contender, Martin gained the proper experience with the Heat’s organization.


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Justin Grasso

JUSTIN GRASSO

Title: Credentialed writer/reporter covering the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated’s FanNation Email: JustinGrasso32@Gmail.com Location: Philadelphia, PA Expertise: Reporting, insight, and analysis on the Sixers and the NBA  Justin Grasso is a credentialed writer and publisher covering the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated’s FanNation.  Grasso got his start in sports media in 2016 with FantasyPros, working the news desk, providing game-by-game player analysis and updates on the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors. By 2017, he joined FanSided’s Philadelphia Eagles site as a staff writer. After spending one season covering the Eagles as a staff writer, Grasso was promoted to become the site’s Co-Editor. For the next two NFL seasons, he covered the Eagles closely before broadening his NFL coverage. For a brief stint, Grasso covered the NFL on a national basis after joining Heavy.com as an NFL news desk writer. In 2019, Grasso joined the 76ers' beat on a part-time basis, stepping into a role with South Jersey’s 97.3 ESPN. Ahead of the 2019-2020 NBA season, he concluded a three-year stint covering the Eagles and joined the Sixers beat full-time. Grasso has covered the 76ers exclusively since then for Sports Illustrated. He is a member of the Pro Basketball Writer’s Association.  Twitter: @JGrasso_ Instagram: @JGrassoNBA