Heat Sign ‘Legit 7-Footer’ in Free Agency Following Recent Injury News

Erik Spoelstra

Getty Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat looks on during the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers

In a year that the frontcourt for the Miami Heat already had some question marks at power forward and depth with center, they got the unwelcome news that their young center Omer Yurtseven could potentially be out for the season with his lingering ankle injury. Yurtseven is in his second year in the NBA and was expected to play more of a role for the Heat this season, some even called him one of the best-kept secrets in the NBA. The loss of Yurtseven hurts the overall depth on the Heat bench, and because of that they had to make a roster decision to add depth back. 

Miami Heat Sign 7-Footer Orlando Robinson

On Sunday, November 13, the Heat made the announcement that they were waiving guard Dru Smith and signing G League center Orlando Robinson to the vacant two-way contract left after waiving Smith. The move seemed to confirm the rumors that Yurtseven would miss extended time for the Heat. 

Robinson played for the Fresno State Bulldogs in college, averaging an impressive 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.19 blocks per game. He also impressed on the Heat’s summer league team in which helped him earn a contract for training camp. Despite not making the team after camp, Robinson has stayed close with the organization and will now fill a hole in the wake of the injury news. 

NBA Executive on Orlando Robinson

One Eastern Conference executive told Heavy’s NBA insider, Sean Deveney, this summer that he expects Robinson to make an NBA roster. While it took some time, Robinson now has a two-way deal in place with the Heat and could show the potential that the executive saw in him as a ‘legit’ seven-foot center. 

“He was a big-time sleeper for me. I think he is a guy with a future in the league,” the executive said. “Legit 7-footer, huge wingspan (7-foot-4). He has an old-school game because he does a lot of back-to-the-basket stuff. He can post you up and make you pay if you send a double team. He is a good passer, he can chew up real estate in the paint, he has a go-to move and a counter. There’s not a lot of teams that do that anymore, but it is still a useful skillset.

“He is not a bad shooter, but the big gamble you take is whether he can stretch his range,” the Eastern Conference executive told Deveney. “You have to develop that part of him. But the rest? He is there already. If he can shoot a little, he is an NBA player for sure.”

In the G League showcase this season, Robinson averaged an impressive 20 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal a game all while shooting over 50% from the floor. Not only does Robinson bring size to the Heat frontcourt but he has shown an ability to score both on the college and G League level and that is one of the ways that he continues to be a sleeper with a lot of upside that could use this time to make a home for himself in South Beach.

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