Heat Could Ditch Duncan Robinson for Crucial Future Trade Assets: Sources

Duncan Robinson Miami Heat

Getty The Miami Heat.

For much of the season so far, the Miami Heat have existed on a fragile balance beam. By some estimates, this team is as hungry for a playoff run as ever, eyeing win-now upgrades in the form of Jae Crowder.

But according to others, the front office’s mindset is that of a burnt-out college graduate, ready to take a breather before figuring out their next move. Rather than make a splashy trade this February, the team could take the tact of playing the season out and hitting the drawing board hard this summer.

But there is a third option: become sellers.

It’s not a part the Heat are accustomed to playing, but every great franchise goes through some form of a rebuild eventually. And according to Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports, the Heat could look to move Duncan Robinson to the Dallas Mavericks for future draft capital that could be crucial in setting up Miami’s next move.

“And Dallas is a team that had an interest (in Duncan Robinson), maybe they will again. If they were to swap out Robinson for Davis Bertans with the Heat getting a draft pick, Miami could use the pick in another deal. Robinson is a better player and might get himself back on track playing with Luka. Bertans has a shorter deal (three years, with Robinson’s deal going four years). It would work out for everyone if the Heat can get another player for the pick,” an Eastern Conference executive told Deveney.

Miami Linked to Trade Involving Jimmy Butler, Suns

A move involving Duncan Robinson likely wouldn’t be considered the “splashiest” of trades, but what about one involving Jimmy Butler? Michael Pina of The Ringer opined what such a deal might look like earlier this week.

“If a star becomes available, some combination of Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, (Cam) Johnson (in a sign-and-trade) and those picks would be an attractive package for any team that isn’t looking to bottom out.

“How about the Heat and Jimmy Butler? Or the Raptors and Siakam? Or (slow drumroll) what about the Lakers and LeBron James? The last one is a face-melter that’s not outside the realm of possibility. With his family rooted in Los Angeles, flights to and from Phoenix are only an hour. James Jones is a teammate he won three championships with. LeBron would finally get to play with Chris Paul, a long-time close friend, and Devin Booker, a pure scorer whose on and off-ball fit makes plenty of sense,” Pina wrote.

If the Heat could bring back a slew of young talent for Butler, it could extend Miami’s playoff window exponentially. With the team currently featuring a young core of Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and Nikola Jovic, the elder core of Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler could find itself squeezed out.

That leaves plenty of room for Bridges, Johnson, or Ayton. The Adebayo-Ayton partnership might be clunky, but at worst both players remain nice assets to flip in another deal.

Heat In On ‘Gettable’ Kyle Kuzma

If the Heat would prefer the middle ground — vying for a playoff push now — the team could target the Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma, who was linked to the Heat back in October by Deveney in a proposed Duncan Robinson trade.

Ahead of the February trade deadline, reports suggest Kuzma is very much available in trade discussions.

“There’s a rising belief leaguewide that Kuzma is gettable between now and the February 9 trade deadline as a result because the Wizards might ultimately be forced to concede that they have to trade him before the buzzer to ensure they don’t lose him for nothing. Based on the rumbles I’ve heard, I struggle to envision Kuzma wanting to stay in the nation’s capital beyond this season,” NBA insider Marc Stein wrote on his blog The Stein Line

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