Duncan Robinson’s stock has continued to fall this season, following some disappointing stretches of play for the Miami Heat.
Robinson, often considered to be the best movement shooter in the NBA, has consistently struggled to hit his usual lofty heights this year, and has lost his starting spot in the Heat’s rotation to fellow sharpshooter Max Strus.
Heading into this season Robinson was a career 42.3% scorer from deep, but following his $90 million contract extension, the 28-year-old has seen his scoring ability regress, hitting just 37.2% of his three’s this year. Sure, a league-average conversion rate is acceptable for most third or fourth options in a rotation, but Robinson is a single-skill player, and if he’s not hitting his three’s at an above-average clip, there’s little else he’s adding to the team when on the floor.
As such, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz recently proposed that the Heat should consider trading Robinson in search of a more consistent floor-spacer, noting that Doug McDermott could be the ideal candidate. The trade that Swartz proposes would see Robinson and Miami’s 2022 first-round pick head to the San Antonio Spurs, with McDermott heading in the opposite direction.
“Following an 8-of-9 performance from beyond the arc in Game 1 of the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, Robinson has gone just 2-of-10 in the four games since, averaging 2.3 points in 10.7 minutes.
McDermott, on the other hand, was brilliant for the Spurs this season. His 42.2 percent mark from three ranked seventh overall in the NBA (minimum of 50 games played), and he averaged 11.3 points in 51 starts. Adding McDermott to Miami’s starting lineup gives it a better version of Robinson, and McDermott is owed only $27.5 million over the next two years,” Swartz wrote.
McDermott Makes Sense for Miami
Doug McDermott is a career 40.9% three-point shooter and has proven throughout his career that he can score off the catch, or off of movement. We’ve also seen that McDermott is comfortable putting the ball on the floor to attack close-outs and hit mid-range jumpers, all of which fit perfectly with how Erik Spoelstra likes his Heat team to play on offense.
According to Cleaning The Glass, McDermott finished the 2021-22 season in the 95th percentile for three-point percentage, and was deadly from the corners, converting 52% of his looks, while still being reliable elsewhere on the perimeter knocking his shots down at a 40% clip.
If the Heat are happy with keeping Strus in their starting five moving forwards, McDermott would make sense as a cost-controlled secondary floor spacer as it’s a role he has played throughout his career, starting just 94 games of the 527 he has participated in.
Robinson Could Just be Having a Down Year
Every shooter has a down year, and usually, they bounce back the following season. Robinson is in just his fourth NBA season and is carrying the additional weight of a significant salary on his back, which comes with a certain level of expectations.
An off-season to evaluate what went wrong for him, work on his game, and come back stronger next season might be all it takes to get his sharpshooting career back on track. Miami hasn’t become one of the best-run NBA franchises by making panic moves, and it’s unlikely they change course now.
As such, it’s unlikely we see Robinson involved in a trade during the off-season, but if he continues to struggle to begin the 2022-23 season, the Heat could be inclined to begin exploring potential trade options. The progress of Max Strus and the shooting options available elsewhere mean that while Robinson is still an important piece to Miami’s puzzle, he is a replaceable piece.
Of course, if the Maine native can find come up big in Miami’s current series against the Philadelphia 76ers, then he will do his chances of remaining on the team long-term the world of good, and could even wrestle back his starting spot on the roster.