Ex-Wolverine Duncan Robinson signs two-way contract with Heat

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Former Wolverine Duncan Robinson signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Heat on Tuesday.

Former Michigan sharpshooter Duncan Robinson was willing to ride out his basketball career as long as he could.

After a strong showing with the Miami Heat in the NBA Summer League, he won't have to worry about working a 9-5 job anytime soon.

Robinson signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Heat, the team announced on Tuesday.

"I'm excited, incredibly fortunate," Robinson said after scoring 12 points in Miami's 98-90 Summer League win over Utah on Tuesday night. "Words can't quite put it into perspective. It's an incredible blessing."

It's the latest chapter of Robinson's improbable journey, which has saw him rise from the Division III ranks at Williams College to Michigan. He became the first man to ever play in both a Division III and Division I national title game, and could become the first Division III player to play in the NBA since Devean George, who last played in 2010.

Robinson, a 6-foot-8 wing, established himself as one of the premier 3-point shooters in the Big Ten during his three-year career at Michigan. He made 237 3-pointers and shot 41.9 percent from 3-point range, which ranks third and ninth, respectively, in program history.

Over the last week, though, Robinson has been a revelation. Through five Summer League starts with the Heat, he was averaging 12.4 points and three made 3-pointers per game, while shooting 57.9 percent (22-for-38) from the field and a blistering 63 percent (17-for-27) from 3-point range.

"A lot of people kind of judge me from my college career, but I think I'm far from a finished product," Robinson said in a video posted on the Heat's Twitter account last week.

"I feel like there's still a long ways for me to go and it's great to be out here and be able to showcase myself a little bit. It's all about growth for me, progress over perfection."

Two-way contracts essentially act as a 16th and 17th roster spot for NBA teams, and the player could spend up to 45 days with the NBA team that signs him, but no time is guaranteed.

Players on two-way contracts are guaranteed to make $77,250 in the G-League for the 2018-19 season, with the chance to make the NBA rookie minimum if they're called up. In total, a two-way player who spends the maximum amount of time in the NBA could make up to $385,000.

Former Michigan standout Derrick Walton Jr. signed a two-way contract with the Heat last season and appeared in 16 NBA games.

Teams can sign two players to two-way contracts, and the Heat have already extended a qualifying offer to Walton for another one next season. But while Walton has struggled with his shot in Summer League play, Robinson has impressed with his.

“(Robinson) was high on our list,” Heat vice president/player personnel Chet Kammerer said about undrafted free agents added to the Heat's Summer League roster, according to the Miami Herald.

“We liked him a lot. His ability to shoot. We talked to (Heat coach 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.”