While the Miami Heat received high praise after selecting 6-foot-11 Serbian star Nikola Jovic with their No. 27 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the franchise received even more applause after signing their latest young prospect, Fresno State alum Orlando Robinson.
On Saturday, June 25, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the 7-foot center was heading to South Beach. Woj tweeted, “Undrafted Fresno State center Orlando Robinson is signing with the Miami Heat, sources tell ESPN. He will join their team at summer league in Las Vegas,” a report also confirmed by Yahoo! Sports Chris Haynes.
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NBA analysts across the league expressed excitement over the Heat’s latest addition, especially CBS Sports analyst Jake Winderman. As a junior last season, Robinson averaged 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game. He shot 48.4% of his shots from the field and 35.2% from beyond the arc.
“Orlando Robinson will 100% be on the Heat regular season roster,” Winderman tweeted. “Might like this signing as much as the Jovic pick… a big man who is a legitimate scoring threat from all areas of the floor. Can pull up from 3, score with back to the basket and put it on the floor.”
Hot Hot Hoops’ Matt Hanifan was also pumped for the 21-year-old prospect. Hanifan tweeted, “Got to watch Orlando Robinson up close at Fresno State and I love the add: – Good with his back to the basket and facing up – Good handle & passing ability for his size – Can spot up from 3 above-the-break – Drop big & a superb shot blocker.
Robinson Somehow Flew Under the National Radar
Despite being named to the All-Mountain West First Team last season, and scoring 20 or more points 18 times, Robinson, who has a 7-foot-4 wingspan, somehow stayed under the radar leading up to the NBA Draft. Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller wrote back in January, “How is it possible that NBA scouts aren’t in love with Orlando Robinson?”
“He has a dream combination of size, length, range and versatility, but no one seems to have noticed,” Miller continued. “‘Big O’ went through the draft process this past summer before opting to return for another season of college hoops, and he has taken a big step forward on both ends of the floor.”
Well, the “Big O’ clearly didn’t evade the Heat’s scouting team, as they signed him to an Exhibit-10 contract on Saturday, as tweeted by Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman
Robinson Joins a Long List of Heat Summer League Hopefuls
While Robinson may have the most hype heading into summer league, his journey to a possible two-way contract will not be a cakewalk. As it stands, at least 11 other players have already committed to playing for the Heat’s summer league, four of whom are already familiar faces. Omer Yurtseven and Haywood Highsmith were part of the regular-season roster, while Mychal Mulder and Marcus Smart finished the years on two-way contracts.
Yurtseven’s $1.8 million contract for the 2022 NBA season will become guaranteed on Wednesday, as reported by Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang, so his spot on the 15-man roster appears secure. However, Highsmith, Mulder, and Smart have no such guarantee.
“Only the first $50,000 of Highsmith’s $1.8 million salary for next season becomes guaranteed if he’s not waived before July 1, and the Heat holds team options on Mulder and Smart’s two-way contracts for next season,” Chiang wrote.
Like last year, assistant coach Malik Allen will serve as summer league head coach. The following players who’ve also signed on to play for the Heat this summer including the following:
Bryce Hamilton: 21, 6-foot-4 UNLV guard
Jamaree Bouyea: 23, 6-foot-2 San Francisco guard
Jalen Adaway: 23, 6-foot-5 St. Bonaventure guard
Bryson Williams:24, 6-foot-8 Texas Tech forward
Aaron Wheeler: 23, 6-foot-9 St. John’s forward
Jamal Cain: 23, 6-foot-7 Oklahoma forward