Duncan Robinson and the Miami Heat have had a complicated relationship since the undrafted forward signed his 5-year $90 million contract. He fell out of the starting lineup. He had a couple of DNPs in the Heat’s playoff run last season. And this season, Robinson has officially been made available in trade talks. Because of this, Robinson has been in a number of trade rumors. Even Heat fans are calling for the team to move on from the one-time fan favorite in exchange for a player from the New York Knicks.
Duncan Robinson and Evan Fournier Swap
On December 24, one Heat fan took to Reddit to share a proposal they believed could benefit Miami. “Do you all think it would be wise to swap Robinson for Fournier? Contracts are similar, but Fournier has a team option, so in essence, we would only need to pay him for this year and next year? Seems like both would help from a change of scenery? Is it an earth-shattering move? No, but could help with depth if there are other shake-ups…” the fan proposed on the r/Heat Reddit page.
Another Reddit user commented, “I’d take Fournier over Robinson in a heartbeat lol.”
Both Robinson and Fournier are sharpshooters that have slipped from their previous roles on their teams’ rotations. Fournier saw his minutes drop from 25.3 minutes per game in October to 15.4 per game in November, and now in December, Fournier isn’t injured but hasn’t logged a minute for the franchise since November 13. The shooting guard, who signed a 4-year $73 million contract with the New York Knicks in 2021, has now fallen out of the teams rotation completely.
Duncan Robinson Being Showcased for Trades?
While Fournier has fallen out of New York’s rotation, Robinson has seen increased minutes with Miami. In October, Robinson was only playing 12 minutes per game but has seen it increase to up to 22 per game in the month of December. One reason for this has been the idea that the Heat are playing Robinson as a way to showcase him to make him more attractive in trade talks, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
After being asked about potential trade assets for the Heat, including Robinson, Winderman offered his belief that the club has been showcasing Robinson to make him a more attractive trade asset.
A: I have felt since the get-go there has been somewhat of a showcasing of Duncan Robinson. But when push comes to shove and defensive deterrence is required. it is apparent that it is still difficult for Erik Spoelstra to ride Duncan through those minutes. Even when Duncan is hitting shots, if the game is close or the Heat are ahead at closing time, Erik Spoelstra has shown a clear preference for Max Strus in those minutes. Then again, even when the Heat had to rally from 13 down against the Suns, Spoelstra still didn’t play Duncan in the fourth, while Strus, who had been scoreless through three quarters, played the entire fourth,” Winderman wrote.
Robinson Hard to Trade with ‘Worst Contract in the League’
While the Heat have been looking to trade Robinson since the offseason, nothing of note has developed due to Robinson’s unfavorable contract in Miami. One executive told Heavy Sports that they believe it to be possibly the worst contract in the entire league. Will the increase in minutes help the Heat to facilitate a trade? Is Fournier a potential option for the Heat? It’s hard to say, but they certainly hope to upgrade from him ahead of February’s trade deadline.
“You can argue that, for its length, he has the worst contract in the league. There are other big ones that are bad, like what the Knicks are paying Julius Randle or the Ben Simmons contract, but those are guys who have value because they can still produce. And there are bad ones like (Davis) Bertans in Dallas, where he just got overpaid because he was in the right place at the right time.
With Robinson, though, he has a big deal, a long deal, and a bad deal—he has all three there. The Heat have him signed through 2026, and you just do not know what level he is going to be able to help you at from here on. He has been really bad as a shooter, and we know he can’t defend, so what is he bringing to the table?” the Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports.