Getting to Know Cartier Martin


Detroit signed Cartier Martin to a two-year minimum contract, with the 2nd year being a player option early in the free agency period. It’s an extremely low-risk, medium-reward move by Stan Van Gundy. So, let’s take a look at what Detroit can expect out of this signing.

Martin won’t be a huge piece of Detroit’s team, but if they end up relying on him, it’s expected that the Pistons will mostly stash him in the corners on offense. He has an above average three-point shot, and a relatively quick release.

Shooting isn’t his only skill, though.

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  • Even though he’s a below average dribbler, there’s a chance that Detroit could try him in pick and roll situations.

    This isn’t something Detroit would run consistently, but depending on the lineup and who is defending him, it could be something that SVG’s offense could run to switch things up.

    Martin is also comfortable without the ball in his hands.

    Atlanta did use him some coming off of screens, and he looked good facing up while having good balance for his shot on those screen plays.

    Yet there is a lack of quickness, and Van Gundy and Martin’s teammates will need to be creative in getting him open looks coming off ball screens.

    The former Atlanta Hawk does have a few offensive deficiencies. As mentioned earlier, he does struggle with his dribbling skills.

    If the shot clock is running down or the play breaks up, it’s not a pretty sight seeing Martin try to create a shot for himself.

    He also lacks the ability to finish in traffic. A big part of both of these issues is that he lacks athleticism to get by or get above defenders.

    Obviously there is a reason that an above average three-point shooter with some passing skills would go for the league minimum in today’s NBA.

    Martin will mostly stand in the corners, and while there are some extremely successful players who stand mostly in the corners – the Trevor Ariza type – those players are usually extremely good defenders.

    Martin won’t be that.

    He lacks the quickness to be an asset on the defensive end.

    That being said, Martin isn’t by any means a complete slouch on defense. He does fall for pump fakes, and he also struggles to get around screens.

    These two shortcomings remove some of the potential playing time that could be available, but Stan Van Gundy has a way with turning poor defensive habits into tolerable, average ones.

    With Martin’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s easy to envision him coming in for five to ten minutes a game to spread the floor and give Detroit’s small forwards a break.

    Martin won’t ever be a huge piece for Detroit, but he will be that low-risk, medium-reward player who Van Gundy can put out on the court without having to worry about how long the team can stay afloat with him out there.