When the Atlanta Hawks traded for Antawn Jamison yesterday, Cartier Martin was released in order to make room for the veteran. However, after the Hawks decided to waive Jamison today, they went ahead and struck a deal with Martin once again for the rest of the season.
It’s been a roller coaster year for the 29-year-old, having gone from Atlanta to the Chicago Bulls and back to Atlanta in order to prove he’s worthy of a roster spot. Early in the season, he showed a lot of potential for the Hawks coming off the bench after scoring 17 points in the first game of the season against the Dallas Mavericks. He then followed up that performance with a 13-point and 16-point effort the following week to help make the Atlanta offense run at a very efficient level.
However, as the season went on and players such as Lou Williams started to return from their injuries, he saw a diminished role with the team. In fact, at one point he went nine consecutive games without taking the floor for a single minute for coach Mike Budenholzer. Then, following his stint of no action, he was released by the Hawks before his deal became fully guaranteed. In the end, it was a business decision so it’s hard to blame Atlanta for their decision to release him because eventually he came back for a cheaper cost.
Martin signed today with the Hawks for the rest of the season and deservedly so after a couple of efforts he’s given in the past three games. As a fill-in starter, Martin posted 12 points against the Indiana Pacers and 10 points in the loss to the Toronto Raptors. Even though Atlanta is in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, he’s stepped up to show coach Bud he can provide some much-needed offense. Martin gives the Hawks another great three-point shooter, who can light it up at any moment.
He is only averaging 6.0 points and 1.8 rebounds per game this season, but don’t let this fool you. This guy is more than capable of providing a spark on both offense and defense given an increased role, which is something he’ll be asked to do while so many players sit out with injuries for the Hawks right now.