Orlando Robinson on journey to two-way contract with Heat and the way he has improved


After going undrafted out of Fresno State in June, middle Orlando Robinson dedicated to the Miami Heat’s summer season league group in hopes of incomes a two-way contract.

Robinson didn’t instantly get what he wished even after becoming a member of the Heat for coaching camp, as Miami waived him earlier than the beginning of the common season.

But nearly a month after Robinson was launched, he bought what he hoped for when he joined the Heat’s summer season league group in late June. Miami launched guard Dru Smith from his two-way contract to create room to signal Robinson to a two-way deal on Sunday so as to add much-needed frontcourt depth, with Heat middle Omer Yurtseven anticipated to overlook a big chunk of the season due to an ankle damage.

“It feels great. I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Robinson mentioned after signing his new contract and arriving to Miami in time for Monday evening’s matchup towards the Phoenix Suns at FTX Arena. “I’m going to make the most of it. As a basketball player, you got to be ready for these type of moments — anything can happen — and I am.”

The plan is for Yurtseven to bear surgical procedure on his left ankle this week, which is predicted to sideline him for as much as three months.

With Yurtseven out, Robinson (6-10 and 235 kilos) is aware of he’s one damage or just a few fast fouls from logging significant minutes as one in every of three wholesome facilities on the Heat’s roster behind starter Bam Adebayo and backup Dewayne Dedmon.

“After I analyzed the fact that I’m here and I looked at the roster and everything, I saw I have the potential to actually play a little bit,” Robinson mentioned. “Just knowing that, I’m going to just be ready when my time is called just like everybody else and make the most of my opportunity.”

Robinson, 22, remained throughout the Heat’s developmental program even after he was waived final month. He joined the group’s G League affiliate upon his launch, averaging 20 factors on 54.1 p.c taking pictures from the sphere, 9.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals and one block in 4 video games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce this season.

In reality, Robinson discovered about his two-way contract with the Heat shortly after recording 16 factors and 9 rebounds Saturday to guide the Skyforce to a street win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

“I was all hyped and everything and [Skyforce coach Kasib Powell] pulled me to the side at the hotel and he told me what it was, and I was pretty excited,” Robinson mentioned. “I didn’t go to sleep.”

Robinson put collectively a powerful stat line as a junior at Fresno State final season, averaging 19.4 factors on 48.4 p.c taking pictures from the sphere and 71.6 p.c taking pictures from the foul line, 8.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 blocks per sport. He turned one in every of two gamers (the opposite being Frank Kaminsky for Wisconsin in 2014-15) in NCAA historical past to build up at the least 700 factors, 300 rebounds and 100 assists in a single season.

But issues relating to Robinson’s perceived lack of athleticism led to him going undrafted. He had the worst standing vertical leap (23 inches), second-worst max vertical leap (27.5 inches) and slowest three-quarter dash (3.55 seconds) at this 12 months’s mix.

“I’ve grown a lot,” Robinson mentioned. “I got to play in Sioux Falls, I got to play around that team and that environment at a high level. I was doing good. So now moving on to this next level, the highest level in the NBA, just going out there confident in my abilities to do what I need to do as a basketball player.”

Among the areas that Robinson has labored on since becoming a member of the Heat’s program this previous summer season are his off-ball sport on offense and his pick-and-roll protection on the opposite finish.

“Just being able to adjust to obviously not being in college anymore and just being more of a role player and I feel like I’ve grown in that aspect because I know where to be, how to move without the ball,” Robinson mentioned. “It’s something that I needed to work on because in college I dominated the ball. So now that I’m off the ball, I’ve kind of tried to master that in a sense.

“I also think I’ve grown in the pick and roll, especially in my drop coverage. I’ll be able to do more, blitz and switch and stuff like that, as I have experience in doing it. I feel like I’ve grown a lot protecting the basket without fouling. Got a long way to go, but I feel like I’m improving.”

Two-way offers enable for gamers to be on their NBA group’s lively listing for as many as 50 regular-season video games, with Robinson eligible to be on the Heat’s lively listing for the prorated quantity of 43 regular-season video games since he was signed practically 4 weeks into the season. Undrafted rookie ahead Jamal Cain is Miami’s different two-way contract participant.

Robinson believes he’ll be despatched again to the G League ultimately as a part of his two-way contract. He simply doesn’t know when that will probably be with the Heat in want of the frontcourt depth he offers.

“I have zero clue,” Robinson mentioned when requested if he has been instructed when he’ll head again to the Skyforce.


The Heat listed Dedmon (left foot plantar fasciitis) and Tyler Herro (left ankle sprain) as questionable for Monday’s sport towards the Suns. Victor Oladipo (left knee tendinosis) and Yurtseven (left ankle impingement) have been dominated out for the sport.

Phoenix has dominated out Jae Crowder (not with group), Cameron Johnson (proper meniscus tear) and Landry Shamet (concussion protocol) for Monday’s sport in Miami. Chris Paul is questionable due to proper heel soreness.

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Anthony Chiang covers the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and was born and raised in Miami.


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