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Did Orlando Robinson deserve a standard contract?

The Heat essentially chose Zeller over Robinson for their last standard contract.

Denver Nuggets v Miami Heat Photo by Eric Espada/NBAE via Getty Images

When the trade deadline came and went without any Miami Heat additions, Orlando Robinson may have expected to have his two-way contract converted into a standard one. But with the signings of both Kevin Love and Cody Zeller, the Heat hit the maximum of 15 players on standard contract.

That means Robinson will stay on his two-way contract. And he has just four games left, as players on two-way contracts can only be on the active list for up to 50 regular season games. The rest of Robinson’s playing time will have to come with the G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce.

The Heat essentially chose Zeller over Robinson for the team’s last standard contract. As Couper Moorhead pointed out in a recent article, one would not suspect that Miami signed him to be a Bam Adebayo front court mate. The Heat would likely use him in pick-and-rolls with Tyler Herro and in handoffs with Max Strus and Duncan Robinson.

And as for Omer Yurtseven, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported 10 days ago that he hopes to return after the All-Star break but will need to get several practices in. And counting on Yurtseven to play in the rotation led to all those Dewayne Dedmon minutes.

Zeller may have shown enough in his workout to convince Heat officials that he had more potential as an Adebayo backup than Robinson has been.

Miami may have looked to avoid a repeat of the Chris Silva experience. First on a two-way contract Silva impressed in limited minutes during the 2019-20 season, and the Heat converted his contract into a three-year deal. But he looked unplayable at times the following season, and Miami traded him in March 2021. While Robinson appears to be a better NBA player than Silva, who knows if he’ll be better than Zeller?