Explore how much the Miami Heat should be willing to pay Duncan Robinson in restricted free agency

The Miami Heat have a major decision to make this offseason regarding Duncan Robinson.

Robinson, who has become one of the best 3-point shooters in the game, is set to become a restricted free agent if Miami offers him a qualifying offer worth just north of $ 4.7 million.

Miami will want to expand the offer, as that will allow the Heat to match any offer sheet Robinson signs in free agency, but how much should they be willing to pay Robinson?

There is no doubt that Robinson is a valuable part of Miami’s success due to his ability to stretch the floor, but he has his limitations as a defender (-1.0 defensive zone plus / minus in the 2019-20 season. and -0.9 defensive zone plus / minus in the 2020-21 season).

While Robinson isn’t a horrible defender, it’s clear the Heat have better options during games when they need saves. Additionally, Robinson provides very little offense in terms of playing or dribbling ability, so the decision of his contract depends on whether or not the Heat can survive without his shot.

After Tyler Herro took a slight step back in the 2020-21 season, the Heat relied even more on Robinson (40.8% against 3 last season).

Obviously, the rest of Miami’s offseason will be factored into the Robinson decision.

Will the Heat turn down Goran Dragic’s $ 19.44 million squad option? The same question can be asked about André Iguodala’s $ 15.0 million option.

With these guys both off the books (and off the roster), the Heat would certainly have more flexibility in paying Robinson. In fact, one could argue that Miami should do so in order to keep Robinson on the list.

Victor Oladipo comes into play in that scenario as well, but with his recovery looking like it might spill over into the 2021-22 season, the Heat might be better off taking a wait-and-see approach and making sure they bring Robinson back if it does. ‘is the case. in their projects.

Robinson’s worth is tricky, but there are several players in the league he can be compared to.

For example, Brooklyn Nets goalie Joe Harris, who led the NBA with a 3-point shooting percentage this season at 47.5%, agreed to a four-year, $ 75 million contract with the Nets that began. this season.

Harris may be a better shooter than Robinson, but their numbers are eerily similar.

Harris: 14.1 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game, 47.5% from 3, -1.5 DPBM
Robinson: 13.1 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, 1.8 assists per game, 40.8% from 3, -0.9 DPBM

Harris was a better shot in the 2020-21 campaign, but Robinson was a better defenseman last season. Both players have actually scored more points per game during the 2019-20 season, but Harris has increased his percentage by 3 points by 5.1% this year.

For Miami, you have to expect this kind of offer from a team to Robinson in free agency.

The 3-pointer is king in today’s NBA, and few players can knock them down as effectively as Robinson.

If we look at contracts for shooters of similar value to Robinson over the past year, it’s more than Harris who is in the $ 60 million to $ 80 million range over four years.

Comparable players who signed contracts during the 2020 offseason

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Bogdan Bogdanovic: Four years, $ 72 million
Joe harris: Four years, $ 75 million
Marcus Morris: Four years, $ 64 million
Danilo Gallinari: Three years, $ 61.5 million
Jordan clarkson: Four years, $ 52 million
Malik beasley: Four years, $ 60 million

Looking at this list, Clarkson ended up being the best bang for the buck, as he won the NBA’s sixth man of the year for the 2020-21 season.

He and Beasley certainly handle the ball more than Robinson, so it’s even more surprising that they were paid at the bottom of the ladder in the last offseason.

When you look at these offers, four of those players shot over 40.0% out of 3 in the 2020-21 campaign (Morris, Harris, Gallinari, Bogdanovic), and Beasely shot 39.9% out of 3 and collected averaging 19.6 points per game.

Robinson falls directly into that category, as he averaged points per game comparable to Morris, Harris and Gallinari while shooting over 40.0% from deep.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said during an appearance on “NBA Countdown” in May that Robinson could fall in the range of $ 15 million to $ 20 million per year.

“It could be a $ 20 million a year player,” Wojnarowski said. “Remember that the teams are going to post an offer in which they hope Miami doesn’t match. It’s going to be hard to tear him away from Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra.

When you take Wojnarowski’s report and last year’s contracts, it’s hard to say Robinson will be in that range.

If Miami really values ​​their shot, the decision is easy. If the Heat aren’t willing to commit nearly $ 20million per season for a knock-down shooter, then they’d better explore a sign-and-trade scenario to still recoup some starting value. Robinson’s potential.

There is a market for players like Robinson. Unfortunately for Miami, that means the team can only really justify an overpayment once the contract offer exceeds $ 20 million per season.

That’s a hefty price to pay, but it would certainly become a lot more palatable with Dragic and / or Iguodala off the books heading into next season.

Miami may hope that a salary like Clarkson’s is enough, but the Heat should aim for the Harris or Bogdanovic lineup if they are to keep Robinson in Miami for the foreseeable future.

About Dorie Castro

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