Caleb Martin

Heat Issue Qualifying Offer To Caleb Martin

The Heat have officially issued a qualifying offer to forward Caleb Martin, making him a restricted free agent, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

A qualifying offer is essentially a one-year contract offer that a team must make to a player eligible for restricted free agency if it wants to avoid him becoming unrestricted. The QO can be accepted by the player, but it’s often just a placeholder, giving his current team the right of first refusal in the event that he signs an offer sheet with a new team.

After spending his first two NBA seasons in Charlotte, Martin was waived by the Hornets last August, then signed a two-way contract with Miami, where he outperformed that two-way deal and was converted to a standard contract. In 60 games (22.9 MPG) for the Heat, the 26-year-old averaged 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.0 steal on .507/.413/.763 shooting.

Martin’s qualifying offer will be worth his minimum salary plus $200K. Based on a $122MM salary cap, a player with three years of NBA experience projects to have a minimum salary of $1,876,674 in 2022/23, so his QO would be worth $2,076,674. That number will be adjusted slightly upward or downward if the cap doesn’t come in at exactly $122MM.

Because the Heat only hold Martin’s Non-Bird rights, it may be a challenge for them to make him a competitive offer if he draws serious interest on the open market. If they want to give Martin a starting salary higher than about $2.25MM, the Heat will have to dip into their mid-level exception to do so.

Martin is the No. 31 player on our list of 2022’s top 50 free agents.

Heat Notes: Martin, Strus, Vincent, Q. Jackson

A free agent last offseason, Caleb Martin only had one offer on the table – a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 contract from the Trail Blazers – before he earned a two-way deal with the Heat, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

After making the most of his opportunity in Miami, Martin figures to draw more interest when he returns to free agency this summer. As long as the Heat issue him a $2.1MM qualifying offer, Martin will be a restricted free agent, giving them the right of first refusal if he signs an offer sheet with another team.

However, as Chiang notes, the Heat’s resources to re-sign Martin will be limited. Miami only holds his Non-Bird rights, which gives the club the ability to offer 20% above the minimum. If rival suitors are willing to offer him more than that, the Heat would have to dip into their bi-annual exception ($4.05MM) or mid-level exception ($10.35MM) to make a competitive bid.

“Obviously, being open-minded during free agency. You have to be and it’s my first experience with that,” Martin said after Miami’s season ended. “But I want to be (with the Heat). I love being here. I want to be here, so that’s all I got on my mind right now until I see what happens or whatever type of experience I’m going to get in free agency.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Max Strus displaced Duncan Robinson in the Heat’s starting lineup in part because he has a more well-rounded game and offers more defensive versatility, but Strus believes he still has plenty to work on this offseason, Chiang writes for The Herald. “Just got to be more complete,” Strus said. “Obviously, teams are going to force me to make plays inside the arc. So I got to get better there.” As Chiang notes, the Heat are a lock to hang onto Strus through June 29, when his $1.8MM salary for 2022/23 will become guaranteed.
  • A year ago, Gabe Vincent spent the offseason representing Nigeria in the Olympics and then playing for the Heat’s Summer League team before attempting to make Miami’s regular season roster. With his roster spot all but assured for ’22/23, Vincent is looking forward to focusing on his own development this summer, with no outside obligations, says Chiang. “This might be a real offseason,” Vincent said, adding that he plans to study Chris Paul as he works on improving his mid-range game. “I haven’t really stopped playing basketball in 12 months.”
  • Texas A&M guard Quenton Jackson is among the prospects to work out for the Heat during the pre-draft process, according to Chiang. Jackson is the No. 86 prospect on ESPN’s big board.
  • The Heat’s scouting department is working hard preparing to select a player at No. 27 next Thursday, but recognizes that team president Pat Riley could ultimately decide to trade that pick, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “We’re focusing on 27, but that also means we could possibly move up, keep the pick, move back. It gives us options,” VP of basketball operations Adam Simon said. “Last year, we didn’t have a pick. We had to prepare if we could get in, and we ended up focusing on guys that weren’t going to get drafted. We could do that again.”

Heat Notes: Herro, Martin, Haslem, Offseason

After earning Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2022, Heat guard Tyler Herro isn’t interested in winning the award again in 2023. He said during his end-of-season media session on Tuesday that he’d rather have a spot in Miami’s starting five next season, as Nick Friedell of ESPN writes.

“Yeah, for sure,” Herro said. “In some way, I would like to start. I think it’s my fourth year, so I think I’ve earned it, and we’ll see what happens.”

It will be a big offseason for Herro, who will be eligible for a contract extension as he prepares to enter the final season of his four-year rookie contract. The Heat will have to take into account the 22-year-old’s impressive regular season (20.7 PPG, 4.0 APG on .447/.399/.868 shooting) and his underwhelming postseason (12.6 PPG, 2.8 APG on .409/.229/.926 shooting), as well as their cap situation going forward.

“I’m not sure yet, honestly, what’s going to happen,” Herro said, per Friedell. “We’ll see what happens this summer. My agent (Jeff Schwartz) will talk to who he needs to talk to, and we’ll see what happens.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Caleb Martin said on Tuesday that he’ll be “open-minded” as he enters restricted free agency this summer, but his preference would be to remain in Miami, according to Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “I want to be here. I got better here. I believe I’ll get better here,” Martin said.
  • Udonis Haslem said he plans to “take my time” before deciding whether or not he’ll return for a 20th season in 2022/23, per Jackson and Chiang. The NBA’s oldest player, Haslem will turn 42 next Thursday, but appears to have a place on the Heat’s roster for as long as he wants to play. He remains interested in a role with the organization – preferably as part of the ownership group – once he eventually retires.
  • In a separate story for The Miami Herald, Jackson takes an in-depth look at what’s on tap for the Heat this offseason, including potentially negotiating new deals with Martin and P.J. Tucker, who holds a $7.35MM player option for 2022/23. Jackson also considers whether Miami has a viable path to trading for a star this summer.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) and Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype shared their Heat offseason previews, with a focus on a possible extension for Herro.

Kyle Lowry To Miss Game 1 Of Eastern Conference Finals

Heat point guard Kyle Lowry has officially been listed as out for Game 1 against the Celtics due to his lingering hamstring injury, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets.

The news comes as no surprise since Lowry didn’t practice on Monday. Hobbled by the injury, Lowry has appeared in only five postseason games. He last took the court in Game 4 of the semifinals against Philadelphia, when he scored just six points with seven assists and four turnovers in 30 minutes on May 8.

Caleb Martin (ankle sprain), Max Strus (hamstring strain), P.J. Tucker (calf strain) and Gabe Vincent (hamstring strain) are listed as questionable, Chiang adds in another tweet. Most Heat players who have been listed as questionable throughout the playoffs have ended up being active.

Strus has been one of the breakout performers in the postseason. He averaged 19.5 PPG and 10.5 RPG in Games 5 and 6 against Philadelphia. Tucker averaged 8.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG and 1.7 APG in 30.7 MPG during the Sixers series while providing his usual hard-nosed defense.

Kyle Lowry Will Start Game 3 Against Sixers

5:33pm: Lowry is active and will start tonight, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

5:00pm: Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters, including Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel, that Kyle Lowry is nearing a return for Friday’s Game 3 against the Sixers.

The intention is for him to warm up and play,” Spoelstra said.

The 36-year-old point guard has missed the team’s last four playoff games after suffering a strained left hamstring in Game 3 of Miami’s first-round matchup with Atlanta. Lowry had previously been listed as questionable, but barring any setbacks, it sounds like he should be available.

Stylistically it will change things in the margins,” Spoelstra said of Lowry. “But obviously he’s a highly decorated, experienced, playoff-battle-tested guy. He’s the guy that all season long that we turned to get us organized, particularly in the moments of truth. You need as many guys that you can available during the playoffs, that goes without saying.”

Winderman adds that all of the other Heat players who were listed as questionableTyler Herro (ankle), P.J. Tucker (calf), Gabe Vincent (knee), Max Strus (hamstring), and Caleb Martin (ankle) — will be active on Friday.

Vincent had been starting in place of Lowry, and the team went 4-0 in his absence. If Lowry does play, he’s highly likely to return to the starting lineup, as he started all 63 of his regular season games, averaging 13.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 1.1 steals with a .440/.377/.851 shooting line.

Embiid Listed As Out For Game 3 But Status Could Change

Joel Embiid is listed as out for Game 3 against the Heat on Friday but the availability of the Sixers All-Star center could change before game time, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

With Miami up 2-0 and the series shifting to Philadelphia, Embiid must be listed as out since he’s still in concussion protocols, Kyle Neubeck of tweets. Listing him as “out” does not necessarily mean he will be sidelined for Game 3, but it means he hasn’t cleared protocols yet, Neubeck explains.

NBA injury list rules would allow the Sixers to update his status over the course of the day on Friday, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets.

Embiid suffered an orbital fracture and mild concussion when he was struck by Pascal Siakam in the late going of Philadelphia’s first-round clincher against the Raptors. The Sixers have been encouraged by Embiid’s progress this week.

The Heat have listed six players as questionable for Game 3, the team’s PR department tweetsKyle Lowry (hamstring), Tyler Herro (ankle), Caleb Martin (ankle), Max Strus (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (calf) and Gabe Vincent (knee) hold that designation but are all traveling to Philadelphia this afternoon. Lowry hasn’t played since Game 3 of the first-round series against Atlanta.

Heat’s Butler, Herro Available For Game 1

Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and several other Heat players who were listed as questionable for Game 1 of the second-round series against the Sixers are available to play, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets.

Butler missed the Game 5 clincher against the Hawks due to knee inflammation after averaging 30.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 5.3 APG in the first four games. Herro (illness), Max Strus (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (calf), Caleb Martin (ankle) and Markieff Morris (illness) were also listed as questionable on Sunday but are now expected to suit up.

Officially, these players are listed as “warming up with intention to play,” Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel tweets.

Starting point guard Kyle Lowry will miss his third straight game due to a hamstring strain.

Heat Notes: Oladipo, Lowry, Robinson, Draft Pick

Kyle Lowry‘s hamstring injury may create an opportunity for Heat guard Victor Oladipo, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Oladipo played just eight games during the regular season and hasn’t seen the court yet in the playoff series with the Hawks, but he gives coach Erik Spoelstra a veteran option if Lowry isn’t available for today’s Game 4.

“I’m just staying ready,” Oladipo said. “I can’t really control what happens out there, what goes on. I just got to stay ready. If my number is called, I’m going to go out there and play the game to the best of my ability.”

Oladipo is coming off an 11-month recovery from surgery on his quadriceps tendon. He wasn’t available until March 7, but he showed that he can still score, putting up 21 points on April 3 against the Raptors and 40 in the regular season finale against the Magic.

“Playoffs, regular season, it’s tough,” Oladipo said about not playing. “I want to be out there competing, helping the team win. But at the end of the day, I’m just focused on what I can control and whatever the coaching staff needs me to do to help us win, that’s what I’m going to do.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • John Hollinger of The Athletic examines whether Miami is resilient enough to survive an extended absence by Lowry, who is listed as questionable for today’s game. Atlanta was able to exploit the Heat’s defense after Lowry was forced to leave Game 3, Hollinger notes, especially when Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson were on the court together.
  • Robinson’s inconsistency continues to be an issue from game to game, notes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. After making 8 of 9 shots in the series opener, Robinson went scoreless in Game 2 and managed just six points in Game 3. Winderman states that Caleb Martin might take some of Robinson’s minutes, especially if Lowry is unavailable and Miami needs better defense.
  • The Heat landed the No. 27 overall draft pick in a tiebreaker this week, but they may be more likely to trade it than use it, Winderman states in a separate story. Miami already has a wealth of young talent with Mychal Mulder and Javonte Smart holding two-way contracts that extend to next season and Haywood Highsmith and Omer Yurtseven on the roster as well. In addition, Marcus Garrett did rehab work at the team’s facility after January wrist surgery and Micah Potter was an All-Rookie selection with Miami’s G League affiliate. Winderman suggests that the first-round pick could be used as sweetener to get a team to take on Robinson’s $16.9MM contract.

Heat Notes: Beal, Butler, Martin, Oladipo, Haslem

The belief around the NBA is that signing a new contract with the Wizards is the most likely offseason outcome for veteran guard Bradley Beal, writes Shams Charania of The Athletic. However, multiple sources tell Charania that the Heat are considered a “legitimate” suitor for Beal if he decides to seek a change of scenery in free agency.

Even if Beal were interested in going to Miami, it would be a challenge for the capped-out Heat to acquire him. As Charania writes, a sign-and-trade would almost certainly be necessary, and it’s a safe bet the Wizards would drive a hard bargain if they were sending their franchise player to a division rival. Reacting to the report, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald says he’d be surprised if the Heat were willing to move Tyler Herro in a sign-and-trade for Beal.

The entire scenario remains hypothetical for now. Although the Heat are one of several teams that have monitored Beal for years in case he asks to be dealt – Charania reports the Sixers also did plenty of work this season on a possible Beal trade before acquiring James Harden – the longtime Wizard has always remained committed to D.C. It sounds like there’s a good chance that trend will continue this summer.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Caleb Martin (hyperextended left knee) said on Monday that he’ll play vs. Philadelphia tonight, and head coach Erik Spoelstra said that Jimmy Butler (right ankle sprain) will warm up with the intention of playing (Twitter links via Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald). Sixers center Joel Embiid, meanwhile, will sit on the second night of a back-to-back set due to back soreness, tweets ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
  • Victor Oladipo didn’t travel to Philadelphia due to back spasms, but the Heat don’t seem concerned about the veteran guard, tweets Chiang. “He’s just rehabbing and trying to get ready for Wednesday,” Spoelstra said of Oladipo.
  • Heat big man Udonis Haslem remains interested in getting involved in the franchise’s ownership group after he retires, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald relays. “This is always the place I wanted to win. This is always the place I wanted to retire. This is always the place I felt I could make the biggest impact,” Haslem said, noting that he took discounts earlier in his career to stay with the Heat. “… You don’t give up $40, $50, $60 million dollars temporarily because it [isn’t] temporarily coming back. So everything I’ve done is to be part of this organization for the rest of my life.”

Injury Notes: Lakers, Jazz, Bulls, Heat

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Anthony Davis is progressing each day as he inches closer to a return to action, as Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet tweets.

Anthony has had a good week … He’s had a productive week,” Vogel said.

Davis continues to do spot shooting, which began on Monday. Davis originally suffered a right foot strain on February 16, so he’s a little more than four weeks into his four-to-six week recovery timetable.

Lakers reserves Carmelo Anthony and Wayne Ellington were both unable to play on Friday at Toronto due to non-COVID illnesses, Trudell relays (via Twitter).

Talen Horton-Tucker missed the game as well, per Blake Murphy of Sportsnet (Twitter link). Horton-Tucker has been battling a Grade 2 ankle sprain.

Here are more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • The Jazz are dealing with a plethora of maladies at the moment. Six players were listed as out for Friday’s game against the Clippers, the team announced (Twitter link): Donovan Mitchell (right calf contusion), Bojan Bogdanovic (left calf strain), Danuel House (left knee bone bruise), Hassan Whiteside (non-COVID illness), Trent Forrest (right wrist sprain), and Udoka Azubuike (right ankle sprain).
  • Bulls coach Billy Donovan says Lonzo Ball has been experiencing discomfort in his rehab, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “He has not responded,” Donovan said. “There’s no setbacks. It’s still the same thing. He has not been able to do anything full speed. And anytime we get him close to that, there’s discomfort. So I think they’re going to probably at least look at, you know, ‘Do you back off and let him rest for a little bit and see if that helps?’” Johnson notes that Friday marked seven weeks since Ball underwent surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his left knee, and given his lack of progress, it seems highly unlikely he’ll return in the six-to-eight week recovery timetable Chicago originally provided. Donovan said there’s been no talk of Ball missing the remainder of the season, but the team is still determining the next steps in his recovery process.
  • On a more positive note, Donovan said Patrick Williams has been a full participant in G League practices with the Windy City Bulls, with no setbacks. He also said there was a “very real” possibility that Williams could return to action versus Toronto on Monday or Milwaukee on Tuesday, Johnson tweets. Williams has been targeting a return next week; he’s been out since October due to wrist surgery.
  • Jimmy Butler (sprained right ankle) and Victor Oladipo (back spasms) both missed the Heat‘s 120-108 win over the Thunder on Friday, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes. It’s the third time Butler has sprained his right ankle this season, Chiang notes, which is definitely a concerning trend. However, the injury isn’t considered serious. On the bright side, Caleb Martin (hyperextended left knee) and P.J. Tucker (left knee irritation) were both able to play after being listed as questionable. Martin had missed the past three games for the 47-24 Heat, who hold the No. 1 seed in the East.