Injuries and Kyle Lowry’s mysterious absence notwithstanding, things continue to roll forward for the Miami Heat. The team has won nine of its last 12 games and is currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings. Meanwhile, Bam Adebayo is finally manning the middle once again.
However, Duncan Robinson’s roller-coaster campaign continues to have significantly fewer peaks than valleys.
For the year, the Heat’s $90 million man is shooting just 40.3% from the field overall and a middling 36.5% from deep. Those numbers represent his lowest marks since his 15-game rookie season. And just when it seems like Robinson is shaking the slump, he inevitably drops another clunker — like his 0-of-5 performance during Miami’s triple-OT loss to the Raptors on Saturday.
The combination of Robinson’s perpetual struggle and the Heat’s surprising success has one analyst wondering whether the team even needs him at this point.
B/R: ‘Is Duncan Robinson Expendable?’
In a piece attempting to identify the one question that every NBA team should be asking itself at the deadline, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes singled out the Robinson situation for the Heat. The big question — has Robinson made himself expendable?
As if his yearlong numbers weren’t enough to give one pause about the baller, the hoops scribe presents a compelling case for consideration:
A pure shooting specialist, Robinson hasn’t been nearly as accurate this year as he’s been in the past…
A defensive liability who doesn’t excel as a passer or shot-creator, Robinson’s value is tied entirely to his three-point stroke.
The Heat know they’re just fine without him, and his role has diminished in January. Still, shooting is a premium skill, and you can imagine another team desperate for a sniper putting in a call. Miami is a true contender with Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo healthy, and Robinson’s defensive issues could limit his role in the postseason even if his shot comes around.
All of that aside, Hughes concedes that it would be “quite a turnaround” to deal a player at the deadline mere months after inking him to a massive contract extension. However, there’s reason to believe the Heat are at least considering it.
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Heat Open to Moving the Sharpshooter?
Earlier this month, the Action Network’s Matt Moore reported that the possibility of Miami moving Robinson, slim though it may be, is definitely a nonzero number, writing, “There’s a belief around the league that Robinson is a player Miami is open to talks about.”
He added, though, that a turnaround would definitely do well to cement his spot in South Beach. And Robinson has looked much more like his normal self in January, knocking down 42.4% of his triples. Again, though, he’s fresh off an oh-fer night and Robinson has teased turnarounds before only to revert back to his slump.