Top Heat Trade Chip Sounds Off on Offseason Surgery

Duncan Robinson (right) of the Heat

Getty Duncan Robinson (right) of the Heat

Without question last season was a setback for the Heat’s Duncan Robinson, whose career had been mostly on an upward trajectory dating back to 2015, after he had transferred from Div. III Williams to the bright lights of the University of Michigan. In 2021-22, though, Robinson struggled from the get-go, making just 37.2% of his 3-pointers, averaging 10.9 points and seeing his minutes cut to 25.9 per game—before he was mostly pulled from the rotation in the playoffs.

But Robinson did take some action this offseason that could, ultimately, be beneficial in getting him back on track: He had surgery on his nose. And he says he can already feel the difference.

“It was brutal for like 10 days but I am on the other side of that now, it’s amazing. I feel like a new man,” he said, speaking on his podcast, The Long Shot.

VideoVideo related to top heat trade chip sounds off on offseason surgery2022-08-04T22:03:26-04:00

Robinson Feels Like ‘A New Man’

Robinson, who was on with Road Trippin’ podcasters Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, explained that he had long had trouble with nasal breathing, going back to an injury he’d suffered when he was a kid.

Before he had the surgery, he explained that he would struggle through exercise regimens that focused on breathing, like yoga and pilates, and thought that the poor breathing was a normal condition.

That’s changed, though, and Robinson said he expects to see a difference in his sleeping and conditioning. As he put it:

I had a surgery, very minor, it was an optional surgery. I had an old fracture in my nose and I had it on my nose, there was nothing external, I’d like to make that very clear. I had an old fracture in my nose so I couldn’t breathe out of one of my nostrils for, basically, my whole life since I was in seventh grade. An old teammate of mine, Rodney McGruder … he had the surgery. I reached out to him and asked him, what was your experience?  And he said it was life-changing for him—sleep, conditioning and everything.

I went and got a consultation and it turned out, my right nostril was 90% blocked. I was getting half the air I should have been getting.

Robinson Remains a Heat Trade Chip

Of course, the question around Robinson is, if he improves, will he be doing so in Miami? The Heat came into the 2022 offseason intent on making at least one big change after coming up short in the Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics, losing in seven games.  Despite efforts to acquire star forward Kevin Durant from the Nets or Donovan Mitchell from the Jazz, the Heat have made no changes, other than losing forward P.J. Tucker in free agency to Philadelphia.

Miami has made no trades, nor a single free-agent signing of note yet. If they strike out on both Durant and Mitchell, a smaller deal involving Robinson is possible.

“There are a lot of things holding him back from being traded,” one Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports. “It’s the defense, the contract, the fact that he did not play in the postseason. But it’s mostly just performance. What did we see from him last year? He shot 37% from the 3-point line. That’s his elite skill. But I can find 50 guys who shoot better than that and shoot as much as he does. So that skill, it’s not elite anymore. … But he is a guy who has value.”


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