Rivals’ Demands in Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson Trade Talks Revealed: Insider

Kyle Lowry Duncan Robinson

Getty Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson react during a game between the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Entering February’s trade deadline, the Miami Heat were clearly in need of some tweakage to get back on the path to the NBA Finals. Alas, the two players who made the most sense as trade pieces — Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson — were nigh impossible to actually trade due to their exorbitant salaries.

For his part, Lowry will make $28.3 million this season and $29.7 million next while Robinson still has three years and more than $57 million left on his contract after 2022-23 (during which he’ll make nearly $17 million).

That’s not to say, though, that there weren’t some teams willing to play ball. Those clubs just happened to want a level of compensation for taking on those contracts that the Heat were unwilling/unable to provide, per a report by the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.

“According to a source, other teams wanted Miami to attach a future first-round pick to any of those contracts, and the Heat declined,” Jackson wrote.

Former NBA Sharpshooter JJ Reddick Sounds Off on Duncan Robinson’s Rough Situation With the Heat

Despite the fact that he’s a recent NBA champion, a six-time All-Star and a probable Hall of Famer, one can understand teams asking for assets in Lowry-centric deals. After all, he’s at the age now (as a 37-year-old) where it would be shocking if he wasn’t a shell of his former self.

Other teams see his price tag before anything that he still brings to the hardwood — and that’s just the way things go for players of Lowry’s ilk as their careers wind down.

Robinson is a different matter entirely; he’s still in his prime at 28. Moreover, his sharpshooting skills are something that any of the league’s 30 teams could use (the Heat could use them more than just about anyone right about now).

For some reason, though, his percentages have cratered, his minutes have disappeared and the contract extension he just signed in 2021 has already become an albatross.

As sharpshooter turned podcaster and analyst JJ Redick sees it, Robinson’s issues all boil down to one thing — a loss of confidence.

“Every shooter… we have a stretch — a four-game stretch, five-game stretch — I mean, I’ve started seasons off 3-for-25 from three. But he had really that first prolonged
stretch in like November, December of last year and basketball is a confidence game, man,” Redick told guest Tim Legler on the March 22 episode of his podcast.
“When you lose confidence, you lose your edge — especially as a shooter — and when that happens and you can’t provide value in other ways, like, why are we gonna play you? I think that’s it. That’s all it is.”

The Heat Were Priced Out in Donovan Mitchell Trade Talks Last Summer

While the Heat’s inability to swap out a bad contract or two for something useful sticks in the craw of some fans, the bigger failure arguably came several months before the deadline when the club missed the boat on a Donovan Mitchell trade.

Before the Utah Jazz sent him to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mitchell’s name was linked to the Heat in trade chatter as much as any other team in the league, save for the New York Knicks. However, according to Jackson, the asking price was just too high for Pat Riley to pounce.

Wrote Jackson:

According to a source, the Heat and Jazz spoke about Mitchell last summer, but Utah’s trade request was far too steep for Miami to consider. What the Jazz wanted back easily exceeded, in value, what Cleveland gave up: Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen, Ochai Agbaji, three first-round draft picks and two pick swaps. Markkanen has blossomed this season but had never been an All-Star before this season. Sexton has never been an All-Star. Once Utah quickly indicated a high asking price, the Heat moved on.

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