While many NBA players, such as Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, claim to never read the media’s spin on league analysis or trade rumors, his teammate, Duncan Robinson, admitted that it’s impossible to escape the news when your phone is constantly blowing up with links to articles.
Robinson, 26, broke his silence on the ever swirling rumors on the Heat possibly trading for Houston Rockets star James Harden, and how his name, along with fellow Heat starter Tyler Herro, have been tossed into the discussion as enticing trade bait.
While speaking with J.J. Redick on The Old Man and The Three podcast, Robinson acknowledged the “challenge” of staying focused on the game while being inundated with gossip reports that your team is willing to give you up as soon as the eight-time All-Star becomes available:
It’s a real challenge. I know Tyler [Herro] and I talked about it, too. There was definitely a stretch in training camp where you couldn’t pick up your phone without it being on there in some capacity so it’s definitely a challenge, but I don’t know, I’m sure you’ve [Redick] dealt with it throughout your career. I guess you just try and block it out as much as you can. It’s unrealistic to think it can be blocked out entirely but that’s just kind of the nature of the profession.
On January 13, Harden once again made it crystal clear that he wants out of Houston after the team lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. He said, “I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can. I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”
James Harden: "We're just not good enough. We don't, obviously, chemistry, talent-wise, just everything, and it was clear these last few games…" pic.twitter.com/4bTcaK7TDv
— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) January 13, 2021
The timing of Harden’s post-game speech was peculiar as Robinson’s value could not be higher at the moment. During Tuesday’s OT loss to the 76ers, the Michigan alum scored a season-high 26 points, including six from beyond the line. Herro also shined with a career-high 34 points in the Heat’s 137-134 loss to Philadelphia.
Robinson Is a ‘Major Sticking Point’ In Proposed Deals to Obtain Harden
Robinson, a key guard for the Heat, and one of the best three-point shooters in the entire league is integral for the Heat in making a deal to acquire Harden, as reported by report by 5 Reasons Sports on December 17.
“We can report at Five Reasons Sports — from multiple league sources — that the inclusion of Duncan Robinson is a major sticking point in the [Heat’s] pursuit of Rockets guard James Harden,” Ethan J. Skolnick tweeted.
The Heat is contending with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets to acquire Harden, while other rumors have Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors possibly making for the Rockets star. Houston has already swapped point guards during their blockbuster trade with the Washington Wizards. Houston received John Wall, who’s finally healthy, and sent All-Star Russell Westbrook to Washington.
With Wall on the roster, and Robinson being labeled by Miami as “a major sticking point,” whether it’s for him to be included in the trade or not — could serve as a major roadblock to nabbing Harden.
Herro’s Name Is Also Circulating Amid Harden Trade Rumors
In addition to Robinson, Herro, one of the league’s top rookies last season, is also rumored to possibly be on the chopping block if a trade for Harden becomes a reality.
While Harden is unquestionably one of the best players in the entire NBA, Heat fans love Herro, who’s now a firm starter for the Heat, and want him to stay. While Locked on Heat Podcast‘s Wes Goldberg called, Herro would be “untouchable” if the trade comes to fruition, ESPN’s Zach Lowe thinks that’s a ridiculous claim to make when it’s Harden on the block.
“No, just no,” Lowe said of Herro not being up for trade. “If this ever becomes a thing, the Heat are having a hands on deck meeting to discuss it. Players like James Harden do not ever become available.”