Friday, August 5, 2022

Top heat trade chip rings out after off-season operations

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Without question, last season was a setback for Heat’s Duncan Robinson, whose career has largely been on the upswing since 2015 after moving from the Div. III Williams on the bright lights of the University of Michigan. However, in 2021-22, Robinson struggled from the start with just 37.2% of his 3 points, an average of 10.9 points and a reduction in his minutes to 25.9 per game – before being mostly pulled from the rotation in the playoffs.

But Robinson has taken a few actions this offseason that could ultimately help get him back on track: He underwent nose surgery. And he says he can already feel the difference.

“It was brutal for about 10 days but now I’m on the other side of it, it’s amazing. I feel like a new man,” he said on his podcast The Long Shot.

Robinson, who dated Road Trippin podcasters Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, explained that he has long had problems with nasal breathing, which stems from an injury he sustained as a child.

Before the surgery, he explained that he struggled through exercise programs that focused on breathing, like yoga and Pilates, and thought poor breathing was a normal condition.

That has changed, however, and Robinson said he expects a difference in his sleep and conditioning. As he put it:

Of course, the question surrounding Robinson is, if he improves, will he do the same in Miami? The Heat entered the 2022 offseason with intentions of making at least one major change after coming up short in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics, losing in seven games. Despite efforts to bring in star forward Kevin Durant from the Nets or Donovan Mitchell from the Jazz, the Heat haven’t made any changes other than losing forward PJ Tucker in free agency to Philadelphia.

Miami has yet to make any trades, nor a single free-agent signing of note. If they attack both Durant and Mitchell, a smaller deal with Robinson is possible.

“There are many things that keep him from being traded,” an Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports. “It’s the defence, the contract, the fact that he didn’t play in the postseason. But it’s mostly just performance. What did we see of him last year? He shot 37% from the 3-point line. This is his elite ability. But I can find 50 guys who shoot better and shoot as much as him. So this ability is no longer Elite. … But he’s a guy who has value.”

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