First it was Yante Maten, and now it’s Duncan Robinson.
After replacing Maten’s two-way contract with a standard NBA deal on Sunday, the Heat did the same with its other two-way contract player. The Heat signed Robinson to a two-year standard contract.
Robinson’s deal, which runs through the 2020-21 season, is similar to Mante’s two-year, $3.1 million contract that he recently signed in terms of value. Robinson’s contract includes significant guarantees early in the summer and trigger dates after which additional parts of salary become guaranteed.
“He’s certainly gotten better,” coach Erik Spoelstra said of Robinson earlier this season. “He had a phenomenal year in the G-League, but he’s improved his defense, his body, conditioning, his strength. He’s improved his ability to work on the move for catch and shoot opportunities. He’s become much more dynamic.”
In the G League this season, Robinson averaged 21.4 points on 51.4 percent shooting from the field and 48.3 percent shooting on threes, 4.3 rebounds and three assists in 33 games for the Heat’s affiliate, Sioux Falls Skyforce. He was named to the All-NBA G League’s third team.
Robinson averaged 2.4 points on 11-of-32 shooting from the field and 7-of-26 shooting on threes in 13 games with the Heat this season. He’s played a total of 114 NBA minutes entering Tuesday’s game against the 76ers.
Robinson signed a two-way contract with the Heat last summer as an undrafted player out of Michigan. That contract limited his NBA service time to no more than 45 days before the G-League season ended.
Robinson’s signing gives the Heat 11 players under contract next season, with impending free agent Udonis Haslem not included in that group. They are collectively scheduled to earn around $134 million, which is right at the projected luxury tax line, but could be lowered by about $6 million by releasing Ryan Anderson. That does not account for an allocation for the Heat’s first-round draft pick.
That group of 11 includes two players with opt out clauses: Hassan Whiteside ($27.4 million) and Goran Dragic ($19 million). Whiteside isn’t expected to opt, and Dragic might not either.
That 11-player number also includes Anderson, whose salary will be reduced from $21.4 million to $15.6 million if he’s bought out by a July 10 deadline, as expected.
The Heat is well above next season’s projected $109 million cap.
Robinson appeared in 115 career games at the University of Michigan, shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from three-point range and 86.4 percent from the foul line. In just three seasons, he finished fourth on the school’s all-time three-point field goals made list with 237 while helping the Wolverine’s to two Big Ten titles and to the NCAA Tournament each season.
The Heat’s current roster is now at 14 players — one below the league limit. The deadline for the Heat to fill out its 15-man roster is prior to Wednesday’s game in Brooklyn, and such maneuvering for one additional player would give the Heat rights to that player in the offseason and would not impact its ability to avoid the luxury tax this season.