Throughout this season, I’ve been pleased with the play of Lamar Stevens, who was recently signed to a multi-year, essentially minimum extension, albeit mostly non-guaranteed last week. Stevens was a guy that was up until recently a two-way player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and although his shooting from three-point range definitely needs work looking onward, has been a very solid defender when he’s gotten burn.
For an undrafted rookie, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound Penn State product has been a key bright spot in that regard in reserve run, and has more than held his own defending a variety of positions in spurts.
Anyway, with Stevens having recently been signed to a standard deal, though, and Mfiondu Kabengele recently having gotten a second 10-day deal, somewhat in that realm, the Cavs had a two-way spot open. Guard Brodric Thomas has the other, and has shown flashes in regards to playmaking feel, some on-ball and shooting capabilities and has made an impact in some spot burn defensively.
But it was understandable for Cleveland to look to add another young player via two-way deal, in particular. And in that regard, it was reported on Thursday by Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium that the Cavaliers signed point guard Jeremiah Martin via two-way deal.
The Cavs will look to further develop Martin from here.
So on to Martin then, he was a guy that got plenty of burn last season with first the Miami Heat’s G League Affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, after going undrafted in 2019 after a four-year collegiate career at Memphis.
From there, the Brooklyn Nets signed Martin to a two-way deal in January of last year, and in totality with Sioux Falls and then the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League Affiliate, last season, Martin ended up having G League averages of 17.7 points, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals per outing.
He ended up playing nine games last season with the Nets as well, regarding the NBA level, and had 7.1 points and 2.0 assists in 11.0 minutes per appearance.
And in regards to this season, although Brooklyn would waive him before the regular season, he would end up playing with Long Island in the G League bubble and again made his presence felt there.
He had 18.5 points, 5.1 assists and 2.3 steals per outing in that span, and looking onward, he could be a player that could potentially get some burn in spurts down the road for Cleveland as a driving/slashing guard that is at his best getting downhill and via pick-and-roll doing so.
The perimeter shooting is anything but a strength of Martin’s, but his quickness/change-of-pace abilities to lead to buckets for him, and he can parlay that to lead to quality dishes to shooters from there. He’s also highly capable in transition/secondary transition with his speed.
And lastly, the 6-foot-2 Martin does have good instincts as a point-of-attack defender, and his team defensive feel in passing lanes is impactful. One could see that throughout his time at Memphis and in G League burn.
Moreover, we’ll have to see if Martin does get some burn perhaps here and there in games to come, and per a report from Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, Martin could be able to join the Cavs on Wednesday versus the Orlando Magic. That’s if he clears the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols.
As Fedor pointed out in his report, Damyean Dotson is still dealing with knee soreness, and with the two-way spot available, this was understandable.
We’ll have to see if the 24-year-old Martin gets a realistic shot here and there, anyhow.