2 Teams Linked to Heat Sharpshooter in Possible Trade: NBA Executive

Duncan Robinson

Getty Duncan Robinson #55 of the Miami Heat plays against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on November 27, 2021.

After a month of the Miami Heat‘s aggressive attempts to land either Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant or Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, the team is at a standstill. However, that doesn’t mean the team is finished restructuring the team before the 2022 season starts.

While guard Tyler Herro is considered the Heat’s biggest asset in their blockbuster trade offers, if Miami is looking to pivot and catch smaller fish this offseason, unloading Duncan Robinson and the five-year, $90 million contract he signed last summer, could become the team’s focus.

An Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney that there are two teams, the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers, that may be looking to add the struggling sharpshooter.

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“There are a lot of things holding him back from being traded,” the exec said of Robinson. “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,” the exec added of the 6-foot-7 forward. “Look, like I said, if they don’t make a bigger Mitchell deal, Utah will be interested in him, let him rebuild his value, then they can trade him at the deadline or next summer. The Heat can probably get back Patrick Beverley for him, or add a player and get back Malik Beasley.

“Portland is another team that, if they’re serious about getting back into contention, they’re going to need a shooter. They were a really bad shooting team last year, and they like Josh Hart, they like his versatility but if they want to compete they’re going to need a shooter. A guy like Hart, he’s not a perfect fit because the Heat have some depth on the wing but he always finds a way to get on the floor. The Blazers would have to add somebody like (Didi) Louzada but that would work.”

Robinson Called Getting Benched ‘A Big, Big Learning Experience’

Robinson was benched for a total of 13 games throughout the Heat’s playoff journey, which left NBA analysts across the league absolutely puzzled, especially amid the stretch of spells when Miami’s three-point shooting was atrocious. Through the adversity, Robinson never publicly complained about his role getting reduced to nothing.

Looking back on the season in mid-June, the 28-year-old undrafted forward out of Michigan revealed on his The Long Shot podcast that he’s “super appreciative and grateful to be part of the experience” of making it within one game of reaching the NBA Finals, but noted that the journey was also bittersweet.

After starting 68 of the 79 games he appeared in during the regular season, getting taken out of the rotation entirely during the playoffs was a “big, big learning experience that I won’t soon forget,” he says.

Robinson is determined to use the experience as motivation.”It’s a situation from a personal standpoint, that I don’t want to be in again,” Robinson says, and that he’ll “do my due diligence to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Pat Riley Sent a Strong Message to Robinson During His End-of-Season Press Conference

Heat president Pat Riley addressed Robinson’s situation during his annual end-of-the-year press conference on June 6. “The Godfather” made it clear that if Robinson wants back in the rotation, he has to step up his game as a two-way player:

Defensively, as a young player, he’s got to get better. We hang our hat on that. I’m not going to say that we lost a game because we had some horrendous three-point shooting games, or someone missed a three or whatever it is. If you don’t guard all three areas of the court, if you don’t guard the three-point line, if you don’t guard two-point shots, if you don’t guard at the elbow, if you don’t guard at the rim, if you don’t guard in transition. If you don’t defend by rebounding, by taking charges and getting loose balls and winning that war every night, then you’re always going to blame it on shooting. To me, yes Duncan can improve. That message has been delivered to him. But that’s where we as a team have to win. We have to win defensively.

READ NEXT: Heat’s ‘Plan B’ Involves Hornets Star if Blockbuster Trades Fail: NBA Exec

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