Miami Heat Might Have ‘Eyes’ on Disgruntled Knicks Starter: Report

Mitchell Robinson Knicks-Heat

Getty New York Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson reacts during a game against the Miami Heat.

It’s too late to make a move for a big man this season, other than looking at the buyout market. But the Miami Heat have already been linked to one possible shot-blocker in free agency. Get ready for “Mitchell Robinson Madness” to grip South Beach.

All kidding aside, Robinson has proven to be a dominant force in 99 career starts at center for the New York Knicks. The 7-foot, 240-pounder is a big body who clogs the lane and makes slashing guards think twice about coming close to the rim. Robinson has 413 career blocks in four NBA seasons while living “out the mud on offensive rebounds and put-backs.” He’s averaging 8.4 points, 8.7 boards, 1.7 blocks per game in 53 contests this season.

And there appears to be trouble brewing in the Big Apple. The 23-year-old is slated to become an unrestricted free agent and so far there have been no overtures about an extension. According to Heavy’s Sean Deveney, the Knicks had a chance to lock him up last offseason and chose not to. Will the two sides come to the negotiating table after the season? Maybe. Or Robinson could test the waters of free agency.

Robinson would command three years at $33 million on the open market, per Deveney. He added: “It’s not a breaker of the bank necessarily, but it is a significant contract and it is one I’m not sure the Knicks really want to take on with Julius Randle’s extension kicking in.”

He went on to cite sources saying that the Miami Heat were one of the teams to watch if he goes that route. Pairing Robinson with All-Star center Bam Adebayo in Miami would be a nightmare in the middle, a modern-day Twin Towers.

“The Heat will have their full midlevel next year and would have eyes on him,” Deveney said. “[That] would be an interesting frontcourt with him and Bam Adebayo, a couple of shot-blockers there. Certainly, the Heat are a team to watch for Robinson. And anytime a big man comes up, Charlotte comes up almost like it is just a reaction. That would be interesting.”

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Jimmy Butler Jabs Teammates About All-Star Game

Jimmy Butler hit a dagger three-pointer in the closing seconds of the second overtime on Thursday night to ice a 111-107 win. He finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists on a horrid shooting night (5-for-24). After the game, Butler sipped a Michelob Ultra beer at the post-game press conference.

The Heat (38-21) will head into the All-Star break tied for the best record in the Eastern Conference. They are the No. 1 seed by virtue of tie-breakers. And now Butler’s teammates will get to rest while the star forward heads to Cleveland to pow-wow with the best and brightest of his peers.

“Some people got a week off, so I’m happy for my teammates that do,” Butler said, via Ira Winderman. “If my teammates was real, they would say they don’t need a vacation, they want to come to support me.”

Butler was joking, of course. He’ll be joined in Cleveland by head coach Erik Spoelstra who is coaching Team Durant in the All-Star Game. Everyone else is off for a full week. The Heat return to action on February 25 on the road against the New York Knicks.

Goran Dragic ‘Unlikely’ to Return to Miami

Goran Dragic remains lurking out in free agency after the San Antonio Spurs bought him out. The Heat are one of several teams to be linked to Dragic, but the odds of it happening are long. Why? According to Ethan Skolnick of Five Reasons Sports, Miami doesn’t want to stunt Gabe Vincent’s development.

“I was told it’s highly unlikely because the Miami Heat simply doesn’t want to stunt Gabe Vincent’s development,” Skolnick said. “They feel like they’ve found a guy who has filled that role, and they just don’t want to do it this season.”

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