Jeremiah Martin

Central Notes: Bulls, Markkanen, Rubio, Martin

The Bulls and their recently-departed backup power forward Lauri Markkanen should both be better off following the restricted free agent’s sign-and-trade agreement with the Cavaliers, contends Sam Smith of Bulls.com.

Given that retaining Markkanen in Chicago would almost certainly stir locker room drama this season, Smith notes that both sides seem poised to benefit from this fresh start. The Bulls were able to add back two new future draft picks and some salary cap flexibility with Derrick Jones Jr.s expiring contract.

Markkanen, meanwhile, will get to once again put up good numbers on a new lottery-bound Cavaliers team that should inflate his depreciated value around the league. Smith still sees potential All-Star upside in Markkanen, the seventh overall selection by the Bulls out of Arizona in the 2017 draft. Perhaps the seven-footer can reach his ceiling in Cleveland.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • There are some fascinating wrinkles to ponder now that Markkanen has joined the Cavaliers, writes Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Russo takes a deep dive into the Markkanen deal and how it could impact Cleveland’s frontcourt rotations. The 24-year-old sharpshooting big man will help spread the floor, and could do well alongside ball-handlers Darius Garland and Collin Sexton. Evan Mobley, the third pick in the 2021 draft out of USC, should compete with Markkanen for starting power forward honors. Mobley will likely see more time at center now, too, behind newly-minted $100MM man Jarrett Allen. Injury-prone former All-Star power forward Kevin Love will most likely fall behind both Markkanen and Mobley in the rotation now.
  • Oft-traded new Cavaliers reserve point guard Ricky Rubio admitted that being dealt so frequently has proven frustrating, as he told Didac Piferrer of Marca (hat tip to Johnny Askounis of EuroHoops). “I am indeed a bit tired (of the trades), but I have been in the NBA for ten years now and I know how it works,” Rubio said. “At the end of the day, everyone tries to be ready to adapt to a new environment. You must be mentally prepared for his. But everything takes time.” Rubio was dealt from the Suns to the Thunder, then to the Timberwolves, during the 2020 offseason. He was subsequently sent to Cleveland during the 2021 offseason. Rubio, who is on the last season of a three-year, $51MM deal he inked with Phoenix in 2019, has also played for the Jazz during his ten-year NBA career.
  • The Cavaliers renounced their free agent exception rights to two-way point guard Jeremiah Martin when completing the Markkanen sign-and-trade, per RealGM. After Cleveland promoted power forward Lamar Stevens from a two-way deal to its 15-man roster in April 2021, the club added Martin on a two-way contract. He suited up for nine contests with the team for the 2020/21 season.

New York Notes: Tucker, Thor, Duarte, Knicks Front Office, Martin

After winning a title with the Bucks this week, free agent forward P.J. Tucker seems unlikely to pursue another with the Nets, according to NetsDaily.com. The Athletic’s Alex Schiffer has indicated the Nets were interested in the veteran forward even before the James Harden trade and Tucker is also good friends with Harden and Kevin Durant. However, Brooklyn will likely be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception and Tucker is expected to command more in the open market. Milwaukee also holds Tucker’s Bird rights and wants to retain him despite luxury tax concerns.

We have more on the Nets and Knicks:

  • Count both New York clubs among the 11 teams that have brought in JT Thor for a workout, Mike Mazzeo tweets. The Auburn power forward is ranked No. 28 overall on ESPN’s Best Available list. Brooklyn owns the No. 27 pick and three second-rounders, the earliest at No. 44, while New York has picks No. 19, 21 and 32.
  • Chris Duarte worked out for the Knicks on Friday, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets, and it was a solo workout, Ian Begley of SNY.TV tweets. The Oregon shooting guard is ranked No. 23 on ESPN’s list but others have Duarte going much higher, Begley points out. The Knicks are seeking to move up into the late lottery, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report said on the Knicks Film School podcast (Twitter link). Today’s workout could indicate Duarte is the target.
  • While the Knicks have agreed to a two-year extension with Scott Perry, multiple Western Conference teams have expressed interest in other members of the front office, according to Begley. The contracts of several of those executives expire at the end of the month, Begley adds.
  • Point guard Jeremiah Martin will join the Knicks’ summer league team in Las Vegas, Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw tweets. Martin played with the Cavaliers in the closing weeks of the season on a two-way deal.

Cavs Sign Jeremiah Martin To Two-Way Contract

APRIL 28: The Cavaliers have officially signed Martin to his two-way deal, a source tells our JD Shaw (Twitter link).


APRIL 22: The Cavaliers intend to fill their open two-way slot by signing free agent guard Jeremiah Martin to a two-way contract, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Cleveland promoted two-way player Lamar Stevens to the 15-man roster last week, and a report at the time suggested that the club would sign a new two-way player soon.

Martin, 24, spent part of the 2019/20 season on a two-way contract with Brooklyn, averaging 7.1 points and 2.0 assists in nine games (11.0 MPG) for the Nets. He joined Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, for the ’20/21 bubble season and played well, recording 18.5 PPG, 5.1 APG, and 2.3 SPG in 15 contests (31.8 MPG).

Once his deal with the Cavs is official, Martin will join Brodric Thomas as the team’s players on two-way contracts.

Nets Re-Sign Chiozza To Two-Way Contract, Waive Martin

The Nets have made a change to one of their two-way contract slots, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived Jeremiah Martin and re-signed Chris Chiozza to a two-way deal to replace him.

Chiozza, 25, signed a two-way contract with Brooklyn in January and emerged as a reliable rotation player for the team, averaging 6.4 PPG and 3.1 APG on .425/.357/1.000 shooting in 18 games (15.4 MPG).

The Nets issued Chiozza a qualifying offer in November, making him a restricted free agent. He ended up signing a one-year, minimum-salary contract with Brooklyn, but it was non-guaranteed, which made him expendable on Saturday when the club made its roster cuts.

Although he didn’t make the 15-man squad, Chiozza cleared waivers and is now back on another two-way contract, which will allow him to be active in up to 50 of the Nets’ 72 regular season games this season. He’ll earn $449,155 on the deal, alongside fellow two-way player Reggie Perry.

Martin, meanwhile, will become a free agent on Thursday if he goes unclaimed on waivers. The former University of Memphis point guard, who signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Nets in January appeared in nine games as a rookie in 2019/20, averaging 7.1 PPG and 2.0 APG in 11.0 MPG. He also averaged 17.7 PPG and 4.5 APG in 37 G League games (30.4 MPG) for Long Island and Sioux Falls.

Atlantic Notes: Kemba, Martin, Thibodeau, Milton

Following individual workouts in Boston ahead of traveling to the Orlando campus for the NBA’s season restart, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens noted that All-Star point guard Kemba Walker‘s knee gave him “a little discomfort” and he was subsequently held out of practice Monday, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston.

Though Walker is expected to have an increased role in practice tomorrow, these early reports on the 30-year-old ahead of the season restart on July 30 in Orlando raise obvious red flags. Restrictions will be placed on Walker’s minutes in team scrimmages and any upcoming seeding games ahead of the NBA playoffs in mid-August.

Losing Walker for any amount of time would be a huge blow for Boston’s playoff hopes. Superstar forward Jayson Tatum and two-way force Jaylen Brown have clearly benefitted from Walker’s veteran leadership. In 50 games for the Celtics during the 2019/20 season, Walker is averaging 21.2 PPG, 4.9 APG, and 4.1 RPG, while shooting 37.7% from three-point range and 86.7% from the free throw line. The 43-21 Celtics are the No. 3 seed in the East.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Rookie Nets point guard Jeremiah Martin, who went undrafted out of Memphis in 2019, has been proving himself a valuable asset to the team, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post“I’d say Jeremiah Martin has been a surprise for us, his ability to compete,” interim head coach Jacque Vaughn. “That’s all we ask at this beginning stage, is to compete. Whether that’s knowing the plays, knowing different implementation, or having yourself ready every day.”
  • Head coach interviews for the Knicks are heating up, according to The New York Post’s Marc Berman. Tom Thibodeau remains the leader in the clubhouse for the gig, though Jason Kidd is nipping at his heels following a strong second interview. Kenny Atkinson also remains in the running for the position. The team conducted at least 11 three-hour second interviews that wrapped up yesterday.
  • Second-year Sixers guard Shake Milton has taken over starting point guard duties in team practices, moving All-Star Ben Simmons to the power forward slot and big man Al Horford to the bench, the significance of which has been unpacked by The Athletic’s Derek Bodner. Horford, 34, signed a splashy four-year, $97MM contract (worth up to $109MM with incentives) in 2019 free agency, but has underwhelmed during his first season of that deal. “I think [Milton] has a huge opportunity to help us accomplish what we believe we can, and he’s been doing an amazing job just running the team,” All-Star center Joel Embiid said of the move.

 

Nets Notes: Lue, Kidd, Durant, Martin

Many around the league believe Tyronn Lue, who is rumored to be in the running to coach the Nets next season, would be the best fit for Brooklyn, as Eric Pincus writes for Bleacher Report. Lue previously coached Irving in Cleveland and the Lakers’ guard has a reputation for managing top talent well.

“He can handle egos,” one former executive told Pincus. “[They] need a guy with rings … Ty all day.”

Jason Kidd would be another choice, as he has won a ring in the past and has the respect of players.

“I think Kyrie and KD would need a championship coach (Lue) or a Hall-of-Famer (Kidd),” said another executive. “I think both (players) have personalities that are mercurial and require different aspects from their coaches.

“I like Kidd. He’s very charming … LeBron speaks highly of him…Some people around the league say that’s his game: Be very nice, then get in while your guard is down.”

Kidd previously coached the Nets, where he reportedly lobbied for a title that would place him above the team’s GM in the organization’s hierarchy. The franchise opted not to allow this to happen and Kidd ultimately moved to Milwaukee to coach the Bucks. However, it’s worth noting that ownership has changed in Brooklyn since Kidd’s most recent stint. Still, even if there are no leftover issues within the club, some believe the former point guard isn’t made out for the position.

“Kidd can’t coach,” a different Western Conference executive told Pincus.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets‘ new head coach could come down to Kevin Durant‘s preference, Pincus adds in the same piece. Durant and his manager, Rich Kleiman, are expected to have influence on the selection.
  • Durant and Irving might be “too new-school” for the team to bring in Mark Jackson as the coach, an executive tells Pincus (same piece). Regardless of who the Nets choose, a decision isn’t expected for quite some time.
  • Ajayi Brown of NetsDaily breaks down the game of Jeremiah Martin, 6’2″ scoring guard who had just received a two-way contract with the Nets prior to the league’s hiatus. Martin only played 16 minutes for the Nets but was making strides while playing for the franchise’s G League affiliate.

Atlantic Notes: DSJ, Raptors, Allen, Nets

Dennis Smith Jr., who will miss his 13th consecutive game on Monday night due to an oblique strain, is due to be re-evaluated on Tuesday, at which point the Knicks may have a clearer idea of when he might be able to return, says Greg Joyce of The New York Post.

“He is progressing well,” Knicks head coach Mike Miller said of Smith. “He has been practicing some. With games every day, we haven’t practiced anything steady. So he’s been able to get some practices in, but not a lot of contact and not much full court.”

It has been a disappointing first full season in New York for Smith, who is averaging just 5.2 PPG on .325/.293/.500 shooting in 21 games (16.1 MPG). The former lottery pick will also have to compete with fellow Knicks point guards Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina for minutes when he’s ready to return.

Here’s more out of the Atlantic:

  • The Raptors will approach the trade deadline viewing themselves as buyers, but a significant deal is unlikely, writes Eric Koreen of The Athletic.
  • As Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily details, Jarrett Allen isn’t holding any sort of grudge toward Kyrie Irving after the Nets‘ point guard failed to mention the big man when he listed several of the team’s core players. “What do I expect him to do, name the whole team? That’s really the only comment I have on that,” Allen said. “… We talked about it. He ended up saying everything is fine, so no bad blood.”
  • In a pair of stories for NetsDaily, Chris Milholen checks in on Nets youngsters Chris Chiozza and Jeremiah Martin. The two point guards are aiming to earn a longer look from the NBA club after recently replacing Henry Ellenson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot as Brooklyn’s two-way players.

Nets Sign Jeremiah Martin To Two-Way Contract

G League guard Jeremiah Martin has signed a two-way contract with the Nets, the team announced on Twitter, barely beating the deadline for this season.

An opening was created earlier tonight when Brooklyn gave a 10-day contract to two-way player Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot after letting Justin Anderson‘s 10-day deal expire.

Martin, 23, signed an Exhibit 10 deal with the Heat over the summer after going undrafted out of Memphis. He was waived before the season began and joined Miami’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls, where he averaged 18.5 PPG in 21 games.

Hollinger’s Latest: Bertans, 2020 Draft, Celtics, G League

While Tommy Sheppard‘s claim that the Wizards intend to retain Davis Bertans through the trade deadline and beyond this season could be viewed as a leverage play, John Hollinger of The Athletic sounds inclined to believe the first-year general manager. As Hollinger writes in his round-up of chatter from the G League Showcase in Las Vegas, all signals indicate the Wizards are serious about keeping Bertans.

Hollinger points to the Wizards’ recent promotion of center Anzejs Pasecniks as one more sign that the Wizards are committed to Bertans. Pasecniks, who signed a two-way contract with Washington, is a Latvian like Bertans, and the two big men share an agent, per Hollinger.

Hollinger passed along several more tidbits from Las Vegas, so let’s round up some of the most notable items from the former Grizzlies executive…

  • Teams around the NBA aren’t particularly high on the 2020 NBA draft class, leading Hollinger to surmise that contenders won’t be averse to including 2020 first-round picks in trades this winter.
  • While center is widely viewed as the Celtics‘ biggest need, most logical trade targets at that position earn $20MM+ and would be difficult for Boston to acquire. As such, one source who spoke to Hollinger thinks the C’s might actually pursue another perimeter player, perhaps a wing or forward. The thinking is that the Celtics often play four of their top five perimeter players – Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Gordon Hayward – together and could benefit from adding another reliable contributor to that group.
  • Rayjon Tucker, a guard for the Wisconsin Herd, looks like a prime candidate for an NBA call-up, according to Hollinger, who notes that Tucker was getting buzz even before his 34-point game at the G League Showcase. Hollinger’s other top candidates for potential call-ups include DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (Oklahoma City Blue), Jeremiah Martin (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Dedric Lawson (Austin Spurs), and Simisola Shittu (Windy City Bulls).

Heat Waive Jeremiah Martin, Mychal Mulder

The Heat have waived a pair of camp invitees, announcing in a press release that they’ve released guards Jeremiah Martin and Mychal Mulder.

Martin signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Heat in July, while Mulder did so in September. Miami is up against a hard cap and can’t afford to carry a 15th man, so neither player was considered a candidate to end up on the regular season roster. However, they were believed to be in the running for one of the Heat’s two-way contract slots. Instead, they may be on track to join the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the G League.

With Martin and Mulder on waivers, the Heat are now carrying 18 players, including four non-guaranteed camp invitees: Kyle Alexander, Daryl Macon, Davon Reed, and Chris Silva. Miami is expected to convert the contracts for two players from that group into two-way deals.