As i’m writing this at lunch, December 12th, Cody Martin has a 5.3 net rating which is only behind Jalen McDaniels who has only played 2.7 minutes total. He has the highest box +/- on the team at 1.5. Cody Martin currently has 2.9 steal% which tells us how many steals a player gets relative to opponent possessions. It rewards players who get steals in less defensive possessions. Among players who have played at least 15 games this year 10(!) have a higher steal% than Cody. There are some familiar names in that list of 10: Kris Dunn, Matisse Thybulle, Dejounte Murray, Donte DiVincenzo, Ben Simmons, Robert Williams, Mikal Bridges, Troy Brown, and Jimmy Butler. Cody currently generating more steals relative to his chances than Kawhi, Chris Paul, or Draymond Green. I think it’s safe to say Cody has good defensive instincts and is an impactful NBA player.
Role on Offense
It is no surprise to me Cody Martin hasn’t been given the opportunity he deserves. He’s older than some of the other players at 24 (September 28). He’s known for his production as a lead guard at Nevada. He was therefore placed into this box as an initiator, and thought to be of little of value outside of that context. Nothing could be further from the truth. So, before we begin some fruitless discussion about Cody’s skills or the lack thereof as a point guard let’s talk about the role I think he should and likely will play as an NBA player.
Cody is an off-ball player, primarily (you are all shocked, I know). People should use some healthy skepticism about Cody’s shooting given his 2-21 3PT shooting thus far, but I think Cody is a shooter. First off, during his senior year at Nevada Cody was EXCELLENT on spot-ups shooting in the 90th (!!!) percentile on good volume (79 possessions) according to synergy. In the half-court on the catch Cody ranked in the 95th percentile (55 possessions). He ranked a mindbogglingly 96th percentile on the guarded portion of those shots (32 possessions). Cody Martin has a bit of that PJ Washington (obviously to a lesser degree) style of being relatively less affected by good contests than most players.
In a Swarm game on December 6th Cody caught fire from 3 (6-11). The highlights demonstrated his touch (swishes on swishes on swishes) and his shot making (several close/good contests).
Former Nevada initiator Martin is an exceptional decision maker who has the passing and ball control to make decisions on the move as well.
Couple this with Cody’s athleticism, strength, and ball-handling and you have a formidable PnR ballhandler. Cody was 94th percentile in points-per-possession as PnR ballhandler (98 possessions). Cody’s roll as an NBA player is not a creator, but these stats highlight Cody’s exceptional efficiency on the move using his decision making, handle, vision, finishing, and shooting.
Cody Martin, the spot-shooter who can make some tough shots, attack close-outs, finish, whip passes, and consistency make the right decision time and time again. Cody has all the requisite skills to bring a positive impact to a low-usage roll even into the playoffs. He just has to shoot 3s, that’s it… literally, and I think he will.
Role on Defense
What does Cody do on defense? He. Does. Everything.
He’s 6’5.5 with a 6’10.5 wingspan, sneaky athleticism, and he’s an incredibly cerebral player who works his ass off. He has an impressive amount of lower-body mobility that allows him get over screens and recover at a rate most players can’t. He stunt’s and recovers to perfection. He doesn’t merely read the floor, he seemingly see’s dangers coming before they happen, an even more impressive skill. He has exceptional instincts which help not only in all the before mentioned areas, but also in creating events (steals, blocks, deflections etc.). He’s very strong for a wing, and he can bang with some 4s in the post using that length and functional strength (as well as those instincts). Cody is going to have a high impact on the defensive end.
I don’t care who’s minutes have to be cut… just play Cody Martin. Cody Martin is the best wing on this roster, and it’s past time he was rewarded for it.