The dream of every college basketball player is to hear their name to be called at the NBA draft. But sometimes, not hearing your name called could be a blessing. It allows you to pick a club that allows you the best opportunity to make the opening night roster.
Former Memphis Tigers star Jeremiah Martin may have landed in a perfect spot after not hearing his named being called on draft night. Martin landed with the Miami Heat very soon after the draft had concluded.
Martin signed an Article 10 contract with the Heat shortly after the draft. This type of contract allows Martin to play for the Heat with the potential of landing with the club or signing a two-way contract with the team’s G-League club, the Sioux City Falls Skyforce.
Martin played with the Heat in the Sacramento and Las Vegas Summer league games, signing a training camp contract with the Heat after his performance this summer. He had his best game as a Heat in the first round of the playoffs in an overtime loss.
Martin hit a critical three-point shot to help to send the game against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Heat lost to New Orleans 101-100 in overtime. Martin finished with 24 points and 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
Martin finished his Memphis career as the program’s 10th-leading scorer with 1,625 points. He averaged 19.7 points as a senior and earned a spot on the American Athletic Conference first team.
He is the only player in Memphis history to have two games of 40 or more points, including a career-high 43 points against Tulane on Feb. 20. He scored 41 against South Florida on Feb. 2 with all of those points coming in the second half.
The dynamics of the NBA shift greatly this season with the injuries of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. The league further shifted with some of the major free agents changing teams. The Heat roster did a major overall this off season with the addition of Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Martin’s chances of making the opening roster is very good. The worst-case scenario is Martin plays with the G-League.
“I think this was a better version of Martin with Tyler and Kendrick handling the ball a lot,” said Heat Summer league coach Eric Glass. “He was off the ball, that is not his comfort zone yet. He got to handle the ball more today and this is where his comfort zone is.”
On his progress to make it to the NBA, Martin said, “It is going well. We did not win, but I had a good summer league, because our team was winning. I feel I got better over time. All I want to do is get better every day.”
Martin entered college with very few expectations from the masses and he concluded his college career as on of the best in the American Athletic Conference. Martin enters his professional career with slim odds, but he has proven over the course of his career that he will not be out worked by anyone and that anything is possible.