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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

Caleb Martin appeared to make a huge mistake in free agency

Caleb Martin in his Heat uniform

Apr 16, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) dribbles the ball up the court during the Milwaukee Bucks in the first half during game one of the 2023 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Martin may very well be the biggest loser of the 2024 NBA free agency period so far.

On Saturday, Martin reportedly agreed to sign a 4-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers worth $32 million guaranteed.

The $32 million pact is Martin’s most lucrative NBA contract to date. However, he apparently could have had significantly more guaranteed money had he just stayed with the Miami Heat.

The Heat had offered Martin $65 million guaranteed over five seasons before the free agency period, according to Heat reporter Ira Winderman.

The deal reportedly would have been in the form of an extension, which would have required Martin to opt into the final year of his existing contract. The deadline for Martin to opt into his deal passed last Saturday, meaning the Heat offer was no longer possible.

Martin’s potential mistake wasn’t as bad as Dennis Schroder’s fumble from a few years ago. But losing out on over $30 million in guaranteed money has to hurt. There’s also the fact that a deal in Miami would have been worth even more given the lack of state income tax in Florida.

The silver lining for Martin is that his current deal with the 76ers expires a year earlier than the reported Heat offer. The Nevada alum will enter free agency again a year younger than he would have with the Heat deal, which could help him when seeking his next big payday.

However, Martin would still have to vastly outperform his current contract to make up ground on the money he left on the table.

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