The Miami Heat want Kevin Durant. And, as I talked about a couple days ago, the Heat could trade for Jae Crowder or Harrison Barnes if Durant ends up somewhere else. But for now, Caleb Martin is the Heat’s best option at the power forward spot.
And he said that he’s going to bulk up this summer to better defend opposing power forwards.
Caleb Martin spoke with a few of us at halftime of last night's Heat summer league game in Las Vegas. Why did he decide to return to the Heat without signing an outside offer sheet, how does he plan to adjust to more power forward minutes and more https://t.co/Lsep9gZl4t— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) July 13, 2022
The following is an excerpt from an article by Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald:
“I’m going to definitely bulk up,” he said. “I’m going to just get stronger and just develop more technique in guarding those bigger guys. I’m going to definitely be in the weight room this summer and I’m going to just do my best to guard those guys.”
“Getting stronger, not necessarily heavier and bigger,” he added. “But you can always put on strength and still be light on your feet. I’m going to find a comfortable weight that works for me and I don’t think that’s much of an issue. I don’t really have any trouble guarding fours. You can say that I’ll play the four and guys will be bigger, but I’ve been guarding bigger guys my whole career. So I’m not really worried about that.”
Martin already has some experience playing the four last season because of Markieff Morris’ long absence during the 2021-22 season. Basketball Reference estimates that Martin played 22 percent of his minutes at power forward during the regular season — and that jumped to 33 percent during the playoffs.
Last off-season, Tyler Herro added muscle to his frame. And though it paid dividends during the regular season en route to a Sixth Man of the Year award, Herro struggled all throughout the playoffs before suffering a groin injury in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Despite Martin’s goal to bulk up this summer, Miami still needs an upgrade at the four. Other teams in the East have improved, and the Heat have thus far lost P.J. Tucker and kept Martin, Victor Oladipo and Dewayne Dedmon. Even if Nikola Jovic and Haywood Highsmith exceed expectations this year, it’s hard to envision them playing well enough to compensate for Tucker’s contributions.