Heat Urged to ‘Split’ From $90 Million Sharpshooter

Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat

Getty Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat

The Miami Heat might have made it into the second round of the playoffs, but that hasn’t stopped the media from speculating about potential roster moves in the off-season.

It’s no secret that the Heat have an embarrassment of riches right now, from veteran stars to high-potential young guys who require additional game time to continue improving. It feels like a consolidation trade will be inevitable, and will most likely consist of numerous young players in return for a high-value veteran.

With that in mind, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley is urging Miami to include sharpshooter Duncan Robinson in any potential trade. The 28-year-old has struggled throughout the season even losing his spot in the team’s starting line-up, and is yet to produce enough to warrant winning it back.

“He still made 68 starts this season (second-most on the squad) and is only 20 percent of the way through the five-year, $90 million deal he signed last summer. The money shouldn’t matter, though, unless the Heat needs it to match salaries in a summer whale hunt.

Miami may have already found a more than capable replacement in Max Strus, who is two years younger, only costs minimum money, and shot a higher percentage from three this season (41 to Robinson’s 37.2),” Buckley wrote.

Robinson’s Contract is Weighing Him Down

Robinson is widely considered to be one of the best sharpshooters in the NBA, especially off movement, which makes him exceptionally difficult to contain in the half-court. However, the Maine native has struggled under the weight of his $90 million contract extension and looks to have taken multiple steps backward.

“I hold myself to a high standard, and I expect to perform at a high level. I’ve grown a lot this year. I’ve gone through different stretches kind of learning how to wrestle with different things. It’s definitely a learning experience. Of course, if the ball is not going in, it’s on your mind. But I’m not staying up all night thinking about it. I try to compartmentalize the best I can.” Robinson told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald back in December 2021.

What hurts Robinson more than anything, is the fact that he’s a single-skilled player, so if his shot’s not falling, he’s not providing impact anywhere else on the floor. Sure, single-skill shooters are a rare commodity in the NBA, and worth their weight in gold to teams who need the spacing, but when the shot isn’t falling, they quickly become disposable, and that’s where Robinson finds himself now.

Unfortunately, this season has been the worst shooting year since the Michigan product’s rookie season, according to Basketball-Reference he is shooting 37.2% from deep with a conversion of 2.9-of-7.9 attempts per game. Furthermore, Robinson also saw a drop in his averages, with his points per game output falling from 13 points to 10.9, although that may be due to his smaller minutes load.

Miami Progress in the Playoffs

After finishing as the first seed in the Eastern Conference, expectations were running high for the Heat, and they’ve begun to deliver, despite Kyle Lowry missing multiple games with injury, and Jimmy Butler being absent from game five on April 29.

Still, the Heat are moving into the second round and will face off against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers, in what will surely be a sterner test than what the Atlanta Hawks provided.

Miami will be hoping that Butler and Lowry can return to the rotation in time for the opening game of the series, which will be on Sunday, May 1, otherwise the team could face an uphill battle in containing the star pairing of Embiid and James Harden. But, if the Heat is at full strength for the series, they should be considered favorites to progress to the conference finals and possibly beyond.


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