Barry Jackson

Heat agrees to contract a sharp-shooter who has impressed everyone this summer

Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson, left, drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings guard Allerik Freeman during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. Miami has agreed to a two-way deal with Robinson for next season. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson, left, drives to the basket against Sacramento Kings guard Allerik Freeman during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game Thursday, July 5, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. Miami has agreed to a two-way deal with Robinson for next season. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) AP

LAS VEGAS - Duncan Robinson, who has impressed the Heat with his three-point shooting and other skills this summer, has agreed to a one-year two-way contract with the Heat, according to a league source. The contract is expected to be signed later Tuesday in Las Vegas, where the Heat plays Utah at 4:30 p.m. in NBA Summer League action.

Robinson, a 6-8 small forward, has been a revelation for Miami this summer, making 17 of his 28 three-point attempts (60.7 percent) and shooting 57.8 percent over from the field in summer league competition in Sacramento and Las Vegas. Overall, he has averaged 12.4 points and 2.4 rebounds while also producing three steals and two blocks.

The two-way contract limits Robinson to 45 days of NBA service time next season, with the rest spent at the Heat's G-League affiliate in Sioux Falls, S.D.

But the Heat has the ability to convert the deal to a standard contract whenever it chooses, including if he makes the team in training camp.

“He was high on our list,” Heat vice president/player personnel Chet Kammerer said earlier this week when talking about undrafted free agents added to the Heat’s summer league roster. “We liked him a lot. His ability to shoot. We talked to (Erik) Spoelstra. He talked about the one quality he likes the most or wants the most is shooters. To me he’s an elite shooter and he’s proven that so far here.”

“I think he’s done a little bit more than we anticipated. He’s had two dunks now off the dribble in the half court, which were kind of unexpected. And (Saturday) he had six rebounds in 20 minutes. Those are big factors.

Pat Riley explains why it’s been hard thus far to upgrade the Heat’s roster via trade and why it could be a quiet summer for Miami.

“You look for other things. The more diverse his game is, is helpful for him. Still the key is for him to make shots. That’s why he is valued as a player is his ability to stroke the ball and the fact that he’s not 6-3. You like guys who are a little longer.”

Robinson began his college career at Division IIi Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., where he was an All-American. He then became the first player to transfer from a Division III to a Division I school with a full scholarship. At Michigan, he finished his three-year career fourth in the Wolverines history with 237 made 3-pointers and 1,072 points while playing in all 115 game, while averaging 9.3 points.

"I love being in the gym and that’s just how I’ve always been, getting them up," Robinson said of his jump shot. "I have a very specific routine I stick to and kind of grown and kind of tweaked and changed throughout my career. But I stick to it.”

Teams can sign two players to two-way contracts. Kammerer has said the Heat might hold its other two-way deal until later in the offseason or training camp.

Two-way contracts do not count against the NBA's 15-man roster limit.

Last season, Derrick Jones Jr. and Derrick Walton Jr. finished the season as the Heat’s two-way players. Jones’ contract has been converted to a standard contract, and Walton remains with the Heat’s summer program, having struggled with his shot this offseason. Miami has extended a qualifying offer to Walton to retain his rights, but he's not assured of another two-way contract with the team.

Here's my in-depth post today fully explaining the Heat's salary cap predicament, when and how Miami can bid for top free agents again, and what the Heat is trying to do about this quandary.

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