Cody Martin

Free Agent Stock Watch: Southeast Division

For the rest of the regular season and postseason, Hoops Rumors is taking a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this offseason. We consider whether their stock is rising or falling due to their performance and other factors. Today, we’re focusing on a handful of Southeast players.


P.J. Tucker, F, Heat

2021/22: $7MM
2022/23: $7.35MM player option
Stock: Up ⬆️

Tucker will turn 37 years old in May, and there aren’t many non-stars in the NBA who could realistically turn down a $7.35MM guarantee at that age. Tucker might be in position to do so though. He has been everything the Heat hoped for this season, starting 56 games, playing stellar defense, and knocking down a career-high 44.9% of his three-point attempts. If that performance carries over to the postseason and he plays a key role in a deep playoff run, Tucker could realistically command one more multiyear contract this summer.

Mohamed Bamba, C, Magic

2021/22: $7.57MM
2022/23: RFA
Stock: Up ⬆️

Entering 2021/22, Bamba was facing a make-or-break year. He had battled injuries and failed to take major steps forward in his first three seasons after being drafted sixth overall in 2018. If this season had resembled his first three, he would’ve been hard-pressed to find more than a minimum-salary deal during his upcoming free agency.

Bamba has responded to the challenge, starting 52 games so far for a rebuilding Magic team and establishing new career highs in PPG (10.2), RPG (7.9), BPG (1.8), and MPG (26.1), among other categories. While he hasn’t yet reached the level that some envisioned when he was drafted, his ability to protect the rim and hit the occasional three-pointer (34.5% on 3.6 attempts per game) should make him a popular target for teams in need of a center this offseason.

Bamba will be a restricted free agent if Orlando extends him a $10.1MM qualifying offer. I expect the Magic will do so unless they don’t see Bamba as part of their future.

Thomas Bryant, C, Wizards

2021/22: $8.67MM
2022/23: UFA
Stock: Down ⬇️

Bryant hasn’t been bad since returning to action following his recovery from a torn ACL, but he hasn’t been the same player he was prior to the injury in 2019-21, when he averaged 13.4 PPG and 7.0 RPG with a .411 3PT%.

The Wizards have a -11.7 net rating when Bryant plays this season, compared to a -1.2 mark when he doesn’t. And there’s no guarantee he’ll see consistent minutes the rest of the way if Kristaps Porzingis stays healthy — Bryant was a DNP-CD in Porzingis’ Wizards debut on Sunday.

Gorgui Dieng, F/C, Hawks

2021/22: $4MM
2022/23: UFA
Stock: Down ⬇️

The Hawks presumably envisioned Dieng being a regular part of the frontcourt rotation when they used part of their mid-level exception to sign him last summer. And for a while, he was.

Dieng played in 28 of Atlanta’s first 33 games, but following a stint in the health and safety protocols and the emergence of Onyeka Okongwu, his role has all but disappeared. Dieng has only appeared in 12 of the team’s last 30 games, logging more than eight minutes just three times during that stretch. At this point, it’s hard to imagine the 32-year-old getting another offer above the minimum this summer.

Cody Martin, G/F, Hornets

2021/22: $1.78MM
2022/23: RFA
Stock: Up ⬆️

Cody’s twin brother Caleb Martin has gotten more press for his breakout year in Miami, but Cody has also taken his game to another level this season. He has averaged career highs virtually across the board, putting up 8.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.3 SPG and a .465/.406/.692 shooting line while playing an important role in Charlotte’s rotation.

While he’s probably not in line for a massive payday, Cody has assured himself of a qualifying offer (it’ll likely be worth $2.23MM) and should have some leverage to negotiate a multiyear deal with the Hornets, who won’t want to lose him in unrestricted free agency in 2023.

COVID-19 Updates: Wizards, Billups, Thunder, Hornets, Raptors, More

The Wizards now have five players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, according to head coach Wes Unseld Jr., who told reporters today that Anthony Gill and Thomas Bryant are the latest players to enter the protocols (Twitter link via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington).

Bryant is coming off an ACL tear and has yet to play this season, so being in the protocols won’t affect his availability. However, Gill will no longer be an option in the short term for the Wizards after appearing in eight of the team’s last 11 games.

Here are more COVID-19 updates from around the NBA:

  • Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups has entered the COVID-19 protocols, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links), who reports that assistant Scott Brooks is expected to become Portland’s acting head coach as long as Billups is unavailable.
  • Aleksej Pokusevski and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl of the Thunder have entered the health and safety protocols, according to the team (Twitter link via Wojnarowski). Aaron Wiggins also briefly entered the protocols, but has since been listed as available, tweets Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City now has four players in the protocols.
  • The Hornets announced some good news and some bad news on Monday. While Cody Martin has exited the protocols and has been cleared to play on Monday vs. Houston, rookie Scottie Lewis is now in the protocols, according to the team (Twitter link).
  • Three Raptors players – Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch, and Gary Trent Jr. – have exited the protocols and are listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game vs. Philadelphia as they go through a reconditioning period, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. Toronto still has seven players in the protocols, but may finally be trending in the right direction.
  • Celtics forward Grant Williams boarded a flight to Minnesota earlier today and expects to play tonight vs. the Wolves, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link). Williams has been in the health and safety protocols since December 17.
  • Although Ziaire Williams remains on the shelf due to an ankle sprain, he’s no longer listed in the protocols in the Grizzlieslatest injury report, suggesting he has been cleared.

Josh Richardson, Cody Martin Enter Protocols

Celtics swingman Josh Richardson and Hornets swingman Cody Martin have entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the teams announced (Twitter links).

Richardson, 28, exited the league’s protocols just under a week ago. Boston now has seven players in protocols ahead of Monday’s game against Philadelphia, plus Jayson Tatum (left ankle sprain), Romeo Langford (neck pain) and Dennis Schroder (illness) on the injury report as questionable.

Martin, 26, will enter protocols for the first time this season. His brother, Caleb, is going through the same situation with the Heat, though it’s unclear if this is related to Cody’s addition.

Richardson has provided two-way production for Boston this season, averaging 10.7 points in 25.2 minutes per game this season. Martin has done much of the same for Charlotte, though the third-year player is shooting a scorching 51% from three-point range.

Richardson and Martin are part of a growing list of players who are in the NBA’s protocols. Over a dozen players were placed on Sunday, while five game postponements were announced.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Hornets, Riley, Butler

The 3-3 Hawks have yet to recapture the momentum that propelled them to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, writes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. With an intimidating schedule coming up in which Atlanta will play several 2021 playoff teams, Kirschner offers his thoughts on how the club can adjust.

While forwards Cam Reddish and John Collins have exhibited plenty of growth, other key Hawks players have struggled a bit. Point guard Trae Young is struggling to adjust to the league’s new free throw rules, while shooting guard Kevin Huerter is struggling to connect from deep.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets have already enjoyed a promising start to the 2021/22 season, writes Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer. New additions Ish Smith and Kelly Oubre have fit in well thus far, with Oubre connecting on a solid 35.7% of his three-point looks. 2022 restricted free agent forward Miles Bridges has taken his scoring to borderline All-Star heights, and Boone is pegging his future contract in the $100MM vicinity. When it comes to perimeter depth, Boone observes that Cody Martin, Jalen McDaniels, and Nick Richards are also improving.
  • The hot start of the Heat has Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel wondering if team president Pat Riley has finally nailed the club’s supporting lineup around All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The club has wholly recalibrated its frontcourt depth around Adebayo, and the early results have paid dividends thus far. The addition of former Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry has made a huge defensive impact on Miami, though his offense is struggling so far. Sixth man Tyler Herro also appears to have taken a leap in his third season.
  • Heat All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler has thrived alongside new addition Kyle Lowry. Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald wonders if Butler has been newly maximized as a player alongside the former six-time All-Star point guard.

Eastern Notes: Rose, Martin Twins, Ball, Milton

Knicks guard Derrick Rose downplayed the ankle injury he suffered during the team’s preseason win over Washington on Saturday, as relayed by Marc Berman of the New York Post. Rose was dealing with the injury throughout the fourth quarter and left for the locker room with one minute remaining.

“It’s nothing serious at all, but if I kept playing I probably would’ve made it worse,’’ Rose said. “I think I probably did it myself. It’s the second game — all this is new, moving around, Thibs training camps are different. I just have to take my time. I’m getting older. I tweaked it but didn’t twist it all the way. Thibs understood [when I took myself out].’’

Rose is expected to serve as the team’s backup point guard behind Kemba Walker this season. He played a key role in the team’s success last season, averaging 14.9 points, 4.2 assists and 26.8 minutes per game in 35 contests.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference tonight:

Hornets Notes: Ball, Monk, Hayward, Cody Martin

LaMelo Ball exceeded expectations in his first season with the Hornets, but coach James Borrego still sees room for improvement, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Ball is a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year honors and Borrego has called him the “engine” of Charlotte’s offense, but his first season was also marked by excessive turnovers and missed assignments on defense.

Bonnell notes that Ball didn’t have a full summer or a traditional training camp to adjust to the NBA. He still averaged 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 51 games and may have been a runaway choice for the league’s top rookie if not for a broken wrist he suffered in March.

“This is all new and fresh for him,” Borrego said. “I thought he was making some significant steps before the injury. I thought he showed tremendous growth. Obviously, that was disrupted with the injury. The goal now — one of my top priorities this summer — is to really work with this kid … work on offense and defense. We’ve got to take some major steps, and it starts with his body, and then working through offense and defense.”

There’s more from Charlotte:

  • Malik Monk‘s future with the team is uncertain as he heads toward free agency this summer, Bonnell states in the same story. The fourth-year guard is coming off his best scoring season, averaging 11.7 points per game, but he might not have a set role in a crowded Hornets backcourt. “If they want me here, I’d love to be here,” Monk said Wednesday in a session with the media, “but I want to feel wanted.” 
  • A sprained right foot sidelined Gordon Hayward for the final 25 games, but he doesn’t expect to need offseason surgery, Bonnell adds. Hayward told reporters that when the injury occurred in early April, he was given a recovery timeline of six to eight weeks. This Friday represents the seven-week mark.
  • Cody Martin missed Tuesday’s play-in game with a sprained ankle and said he probably won’t be able to do any on-court work until next week, Bonnell tweets. That mean’s it’s unlikely that Martin would have been available for a first-round playoff series if the Hornets had advanced.

Southeast Notes: Hayward, Magic, Homesley, Heat Crowds

Hornets forward Gordon Hayward will remain out for the play-in tournament game on Tuesday against Indiana, the team’s PR department tweets. Hayward hasn’t played since April 2 due to a right foot sprain. Cody Martin (left ankle sprain) will also miss the game.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic couldn’t take anything out of this disastrous season, except for improving their chances of getting a top-four pick, Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel opines. Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz lost valuable development time due to season-ending injuries and it’s tough to evaluate the other young players on the roster because the team was in tank mode during the second half of the season.
  • Caleb Homesley‘s contract with the Wizards is worth $5.3MM over four years, including this season, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets. The next two seasons are non-guaranteed and the final year includes a team option. Homesley was signed as a developmental player after seeing action in 15 G League games with the Erie BayHawks. He won’t be with the team for the play-in tournament.
  • The Heat will increase their crowd capacity for the postseason, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. A crowd of 8,600 fans (43%) will be allowed in for the first round of the playoffs. The arena capacity was previously at 5,700 (29%).

Injury/Illness Updates: Hayward, Martin, Schröder, Tucker, Wright

Hornets star forward Gordon Hayward practiced in full on Friday and is listed as probable to play against Golden State on Saturday, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets. Hayward missed last Saturday’s loss to San Antonio with lower back discomfort. The Hornets haven’t played since due to a couple of COVID-19 related postponements.

We have more updates regarding injuries and illness around the league:

  • Hornets coach James Borrego indicated Caleb Martin will likely take longer than his brother, Cody Martin, to be cleared from the league’s health and safety protocols, Bonnell adds in another tweet. The Martin twins have missed Charlotte’s last two games.
  • Lakers starting point guard Dennis Schröder will miss his second consecutive game on Saturday after being placed under the league’s health and safety protocols, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin tweets.
  • Rockets forward P.J. Tucker returned to practice on Friday, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Tucker has missed the last two games with a bruised thigh.
  • Pistons point guard Delon Wright departed during the fourth quarter of his team’s game against Memphis on Friday with a right groin strain, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets.

Southeast Notes: Martin Brothers, MCW, Hawks, Collins

Caleb Martin and Cody Martin remain out for the Hornets today due to coronavirus-related issues, and starting power forward P.J. Washington has been categorized as doubtful ahead of today’s contest against the Spurs, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

When the Martins and Washington initially were held out Friday, Bonnell was unable to provide any additional info (in another piece) on whether either Martin brother or Washington had actually yielded a positive or inconclusive test for COVID-19 or had entered the league’s contact tracing protocols.

There’s more out of the Southeast:

  • After a 19-game injury absence, point guard Michael Carter-Williams provided an ample boost for an injury-plagued Magic squad, per Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel“I’m always ready to go play the point,” Carter-Williams said. “Coach has me do it in practice sometimes. I’m always staying sharp in that area for moments like this, so we can go out there and not skip a beat and still be successful.”
  • The Hawks have struggled to preserve leads in the fourth quarter, having gone just 9-7 this season when they’ve been ahead entering the final frame, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. “I don’t know if it’s always been the fourth,” head coach Lloyd Pierce notes of Atlanta’s recent struggles. “We’re trying to find our rhythm. We’re trying to find guys to find that belief to finish the game.”
  • Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel wonders if the struggling Heat should make a full-court press for two-way Hawks power forward John Collins. The power forward position has been problematic for Miami this season, while Collins – who is on an expiring contract – is averaging 18.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 1.6 APG for the 11-15 Hawks. He holds a slash line of .543/.391/.853.

Southeast Notes: Martin Brothers, McDaniels, Bamba, Huerter, Wizards

Hornets brothers Cody Martin and Caleb Martin will miss Friday’s game against the Timberwolves due to the league’s health and safety protocols, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. P.J. Washington has also been sidelined by the protocols, Marc Spears of ESPN tweets.

Hornets forward Jalen McDaniels has been recalled from the G League’s Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. McDaniels, who won’t be available until at least Sunday due to quarantine rules, has averaged 20 points and 11.5 rebounds in two games at Orlando’s bubble.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Mohamed Bamba has fallen out of the Magic‘s rotation and that shouldn’t be the case, Josh Robbins of The Athletic opines. The sixth pick of the 2018 draft needs playing time to establish how much improvement he’s made since his rookie campaign and coach Steve Clifford should give the young big ample opportunities to show what he can do, Robbins adds. Robbins also takes a look at the current rotation and Clifford’s usage of reserves Gary Clark and Khem Birch.
  • Hawks wing Kevin Huerter has averaged 13.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 3.8 APG since reclaiming a spot in the lineup, K.L. Chouinard of the team’s website notes. Huerter, who will be eligible for a rookie scale extension prior to next season, is on pace to set career-best marks in field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage, Chouinard adds. “It’s finding my spots and finding ways to stay aggressive and keep myself within the offense,” Huerter said.
  • The Wizards are 3-8 since returning from their coronavirus pause, prompting Scott Cacciola of the New York Times to take a closer look at the team’s struggles.