As we already underlined during the Jalen McDaniels season preview, Caleb Martin will likely be fighting with his former G-League teammate for the 10th spot in this years rotation. The motivation that can lead Borrego to choose the twin are really different from the ones we pointed out for McDaniels.
Caleb spent large part of 2019-20 season with the Greensboro Swarm, his main area of focus was that he needed to work on his shooting. Coming out from Nevada he had a very bad looking shot even if it was quite effective as he was considered a very capable scorer. With time and reps Martin tried to reach a much more sustainable motion for the NBA but the work is not finished, it will be necessary to prove his new motion can equate to an efficient shot during a real NBA season.
As is pretty obvious to say, three point shooting is the key for him to survive at this level and he needs to be comfortable with a fluid and effective shot. During last year final games of the shortened season, he produced some quite high three point percentages. Even if the sample is not very high that was a good sign for his NBA projection. In this preseason he was looking comfortable in a catch and shoot role.
Caleb, like his twin brother Cody, is capable of bringing instant energy when coming off the bench. He is more offensive minded than Cody and this could be really helpful for the Hornets during the stretch, especially in nights were the primary players aren’t performing well on the offensive side of the ball. Beyond three point shooting he has some handling ability that allows him to give some secondary creation and rim pressure with his athletic drives.
His good frame and length also allows him to be effective on the defensive end, especially because he’s able to consistently produce a high energy effort level. Caleb and his brother could really be considered the two best POA defenders on this roster right now, and that says a lot about the other members of the roster.
If he finds a good rhythm during the year he could be a perfect bench piece for the Hornets because of the offensive and defensive mix he can bring as soon as he steps onto the court. Age is probably the deciding factor here, Caleb is already 25 and for a rebuilding team like Charlotte it is probably better to bet on a younger player like McDaniels.
The fight between the two will surely be one to watch as both players produce a fun yet competitive style of basketball. Keep in mind that because of covid and a really hectic schedule James Borrego could make rotation less tight in order to avoid injuries and overload for the core players.