Cody a Charlotte Hornet

Published 2:57 pm Friday, June 28, 2019

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Cody Martin was No. 66 in the ESPN pre-draft rankings. One mock draft after another had Martin on the outside looking in for the two-round, 60-pick NBA Draft on June 20. BleacherReport might have been the only mock draft that had Martin being picked.

Lo and behold, Martin became the 36th overall pick in the second round by the Charlotte Hornets. It’s something that had never happened for a Davie County basketball player, and it’s something you may never see again.

Better yet, Martin will play for his hometown NBA team.

“Being from North Carolina, it was a big deal and definitely a dream come true,” he said. “I was very shocked because it seems like it’s the perfect situation that you can only imagine when you’re growing up. For it to actually happen is really big for me and my family. It was unreal. You always dream of playing in your hometown. To be able to be within driving distance – an hour and 20 minutes away – it couldn’t have been any better than this. I would like to thank the whole organization for giving me this opportunity. I want to prove to them that they made the right choice. I’m ready to get to work.”

Cody and twin brother Caleb grew up here and spent three years at Davie High before transferring to Oak Hill Academy for their senior years. They played at N.C. State as freshmen and sophomores. They starred at Nevada the past two seasons, leading the Wolf Pack to back-to-back regular-season championships in the Mountain West Conference. They reached the Sweet 16 in 2018 and helped Nevada to 57 wins in two years.

Cody was second-team All-MWC as a junior and third-team as a senior. He was MWC Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. In two years, he averaged 13.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks. He shot 51 percent from the field, 34 percent from 3-point territory and 73 percent from the line.

At 6-6, 205 pounds, he was the full-time point guard as a senior. He was like room service. Points, assists, rebounds – order what you need.

“I’m very versatile and able to play position-less basketball,” he said. “Like people like to say, I’m a jack of all trades.”

Although Caleb was not drafted, he could sign as a free agent with any team in the NBA. He was the MWC Offensive Player of the Year as a junior.

Cody worked out for the Hornets in early June and left with good vibes. Still, it was surreal to hear his name called when most pundits had him under the radar. He watched the draft from his parents’ home in Clemmons.

One day after the draft, Charlotte General Manager Mitch Kupchak said: “I think (Cody) was the first person in the building this morning.”

The Hornets selected P.J. Washington with the 12th pick. After taking Martin early in the second round, they took Jalen McDaniels at No. 52 with their third and final pick.

Cody will likely participate in the NBA Summer League. Kupchak said all three picks will spend time with Charlotte’s G-League team, the Greensboro Swarm, but they will also spend plenty of time with the Hornets.

Kupchak: “We hope with our player development program and exposure to our G-League team they can progress as much as Dwayne Bacon did this year. Which means you play in the NBA and maybe from time to time in the G-League, based on how hard you work and how your development is. And I know they’re on board.”

Cody: “Sometimes guys in those positions can take steps back because your ego and pride gets in the way about having to go to the G-League. But some guys take it and use it as fuel to develop their games. You’ve got guys who play with a chip on their shoulder, and then when they get their opportunity, they don’t let it slip and they take advantage of it.”

At Friday’s press conference in Charlotte, Cody proudly held up his No. 11 jersey. He drew laughter from reporters when he said of Washington and himself: “They drafted two pretty boring guys. All I do is watch Netflix, go to the movies, I fish and play the game. That’s really about it. They say the boring man gets paid. I hope that’s true.”

Caleb and Cody have played on the same teams throughout their athletic careers. Unless Charlotte signs Caleb, they will be apart for the first time ever.

Cody: “I know the question’s coming up about how we’re going to play without each other and things like that. I think this will give us a chance to expand our games in our own ways, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Later in the day, Cody was interviewed by a Hornets TV reporter.

Reporter: “I’ve been here five years, but I’ve never been to Mocksville. Tell me about Mocksville. What happens up there?”

Cody: “Not many people have been there. It’s a small town. Not much goes on. Just a lot of fishing and stuff like that. But everyone knows everyone. They’ve been supporting us since Day One.”

Second-round picks do not automatically receive guaranteed contracts, but most make their way onto rosters. Last year, 24 of 30 second-round picks played in the NBA. In 2017, all but one of the second-round picks from college played in the NBA.