Heat’s Orlando Robinson Sustains Fractured Thumb

Orlando Robinson has sustained a fractured right thumb on his shooting hand and will be sidelined for at least Thursday’s game against New York, the Heat announced (via Twitter).

The 22-year-old rookie went undrafted last June out of Fresno State, but has worked his way into Miami’s rotation — he has been the team’s primary backup center since late December. Through 24 games, he’s averaging 4.3 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 14.4 MPG.

As Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes, it’s a very unfortunate turn of events for Robinson, who has been playing on a two-way contract. He’s only eligible to play 10 more NBA games as part of his prorated two-way contract, and he was looking like an excellent candidate to be promoted to a standard deal, but the injury might cause the Heat to “delay or torpedo” that idea, per Jackson.

Hashtag Basketball’s injury database states that players have missed an average of 32 days with Robinson’s injury, with the shortest return being 18 days.

Dewayne Dedmon could be in line for more playing time with Robinson sidelined. Dedmon has not appeared in a game since he was suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team on January 11, Jackson notes.

A longer-term option at the backup five could be Omer Yurtseven, Jackson adds. The Turkish big man hopes to make his season debut after the All-Star break following ankle surgery in November.

Although the Heat have an open roster spot, they are only $193K below the luxury tax line, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. That means they’re unlikely to fill the last roster spot unless they make a cost-cutting move (or perhaps a one-for-two deal) before the February 9 trade deadline.

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