The Miami Heat finished with a 53-29 record last season, topping the Eastern Conference. However, the team could not continue its momentum in the playoffs. Miami ended up falling to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the conference finals, with Jimmy Butler’s go-ahead three-pointer in the final minute coming up just short.
So far this season, the Heat are having a lot of problems. The team is only 10-11, good for 10th in the East, meaning Miami would barely make the play-in tournament if the season ended today. They are just half a game ahead of both the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks in the standings, too.
To make things worse, Butler has already missed multiple games with an injury. Without him, the Heat have struggled, clearly in need of reinforcements. The team’s offense ranks No. 28 in the league with 108.4 points a night. Unless something changes, Miami’s preseason title hopes seem doomed.
With that being said, here is one Heat player who the front office should consider trading if they want to turn things around in 2022-23.
Heat trade candidate: Duncan Robinson
Duncan Robinson has enjoyed one of the most unlikely journeys to the NBA in modern league history. He started his college career at Division III school before joining the Michigan Wolverines for his final three years of NCAA eligibility. After going undrafted in 2018, he signed a two-way deal with the Heat.
After spending most of his rookie year in the G-League, Robinson quickly became an important player for Miami in his second season. Starting in 68 out of the 73 games he appeared in, the shooting guard became one of Erik Spoelstra’s most effective offensive weapons, emerging as an elite, high-volume three-point shooter.
Unfortunately, things have changed a lot for Robinson since then.
Tyler Herro had a breakout year in 2021-22, winning the Sixth Man of the Year award. That resulted in Robinson’s role significantly decreasing in the playoffs. After starting in 68 regular-season games, averaging 25.9 minutes, Robinson came off the bench in each of the Heat’s 13 playoff games, getting just 12.2 minutes per night.
In the 2022-23 season, Robinson’s role has been even smaller. He is playing just 17.6 minutes per contest as Herro is now a full-time starter and fellow sharpshooter Max Strus has supplanted him at Miami’s designated marksman.
Robinson is averaging 6.3 points per game, shooting 35.4% from the field and a shocking 30.65 from beyond the arc.
The 28-year-old just doesn’t have much room to improve his overall game, either. With the Heat hoping to win a title before Butler starts regressing, Robinson might be out of their long-term plans even if his jumper comes back around to career norms.
The Heat should perhaps try to acquire some scorers and improve the bench, especially in Butler’s absence. Players from rebuilding teams such as the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando Magic could be some viable options.
The Heat could use Robinson as the main salary filler to bring back veterans with title aspirations. Even if the team wants to acquire a more marquee name, Robinson would likely need to be included.
The biggest issue is that he still has three years and just over $57 million left on his contract beyond this season, including a player option for 2025-26. Combining Robinson’s age, contract and rough recent play in Miami, it would be a tough task to move him in a trade.
Still, the Heat should explore the trade market and see if any teams would be willing to absorb his contract in exchange for draft picks.
Robinson’s trade value is likely not very high. However, if Miami wants to improve its chances of a ring, sacrificing a first-round pick for some win-now help in a Robinson trade could prove well worth it.