To the surprise of many, Cody Martin rookie’s season went a lot better than many anticipated during last year for the Hornets. His defensive and playmaking instincts helped Charlotte overcome a lot of difficulties in his 49 appearances. Mitch Kupchak really believed in him and decided to spend the 36th pick of 2019 Draft for the former Nevada WolfPack player even if younger players who were thought could be of more value were still available.
James Borrego really believes in his play style and during preseason he used Cody Martin continuously from the bench. When Gordon Hayward injured his finger after the first two meetings with Toronto, JB promoted Martin as a starter to fill the role. It’s not wrong to consider him one of the first bench pieces of this team.
Martin fought for this, his play time was limited when the 2019 season began and he also made several appearances with the Greensboro Swarm. Hustle, defense and high IQ secured him a stable role in the Hornets rotations. For a young and scrappy team, a player like Cody Martin is really helpful because he can bring instant defense and playmaking without any kind of effort. The amount of possession he turned into our favor with his defensive position are countless.
The greatest problem with his game is three point shooting. During last year he was reluctant to shoot the ball from long range and this really hurt spacing while he was on the court. That is the reason why Borrego preferred to use him as a ball handler with good shooters around him. This is the key part of his game in order to succeed in the 2020-21 season.
Martin needs to shoot with consistency and confidence if he wants to keep his role in the rotations, especially with Ball and other ball handlers ready to eat his minutes from the bench. His shooting stroke looks good and the mechanics are clean, it is much more a mental problem than a technical one.
Despite this struggle he was able to display a good ability to cut and understand opponents defense. Add to this a good propensity with passing and that is a player that could not hurt an NBA offense in the best case scenario.
Martin is already 25 and that is the reason why he was so effective during his first year in the league. In his sophomore season it is likely he has the same effectiveness both defensively and offensively.
Haywards presence could really help his development as well. They are similar players despite the effectively savvy offensive skillset that Gordon has. Being near a good player like him could just make him better.
Borrego will keep on using him from the bench and is ready to unlock him as a starter if Gordon Hayward miss some games during the 72 game stretch. The hope is that Cody Martin can keep on bringing balance to every Charlotte lineup, playing with great effort and IQ. As we said, if he shoots better he is going to be great and could really helps the team win some more games.