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Miami Heat Were ‘Dumbfounded’ With Caleb Martin Contract Negotiations due to the

NBA insider reveals the “intense” contract negotiations between Caleb Martin and the Heat

The Miami Heat lost a major piece of their core this summer after veteran swingman Caleb Martin agreed to join the Philadelphia 76ers. According to NBA insider Barry Jackson, the Heat tried to negotiate with Martin but were left ‘dumbfounded’ by the decisions made by him and his camp.

“Miami could not make a similar offer after free agency started because it would have involved Martin opting in with much bigger salaries in subsequent years,” wrote Jackson. “So Martin turned down 5 years, $65 million from Heat and then a week later settled for what ESPN said is 4 years topping 32 M from the 76ers. Martin’s rep thought the Heat’s offer wasn’t good enough, which dumbfounded Heat. This Heat/Martin negotiation last weekend was quite (shall we say) intense, per 2 sources. Martin’s camp thought Heat was trying to force him to take what Martin’s rep thought was below market deal and made that clear. Heat thought this was a very good offer (it was) and made that very clear.”

Caleb Martin was among the more minor free agents this summer but his shooting and defense on the wing are highly valuable skills in the NBA and they helped the Heat win a lot of games over the past three years.

Martin, 28, emerged as a premier frontcourt player for the Miami Heat. He initially broke out during the 2023 Finals run and went on to average 10.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game on 43.1% shooting last season. With his deal set to expire this summer, the Heat had been negotiating a new contract with Martin and reportedly made an offer of roughly $13 million per year for the next five years.

Martin would have had to opt into his $7.1 million player option next season to sign the extension but it was a step that he was unwilling to take. Instead, Martin had his agents play hardball with the Heat and when he opted out of his deal it essentially took Miami’s $65 million offer off the table.

With nowhere else to turn, Martin had to accept a new deal with the 76ers for $32 million over four years, which is just around $8 million per year. Clearly, Martin made a mistake with his contract decision and it’s something he’ll have to live with for the next four years.

As for the Heat, while Martin was no star, he was a huge piece of their offense and gave them some much-needed fire-power on the perimeter. With him gone and Jimmy Butler another year older, it’s fair to say the Heat will take a step back in the East standings next season.

According to reports, the Heat front office barely knows how to handle the new CBA and they have yet to make a trade or signing that will move the needle for them. As their core players get older, including Jimmy and Bam, it will get harder and harder for them to keep up with rising levels of competition.

If Pat Riley doesn’t pull off a miracle here soon, his Heat could be on the verge of a rebuild and they will have nothing to show for their run with Butler.

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