Heat Notes: Herro, Adebayo, Small Forwards, Draft

Two weeks after Heat guard Kendrick Nunn made the case for why he – rather than Ja Morant – should be the Rookie of the Year frontrunner, teammate Tyler Herro said this week that he believes he was seriously in the mix for the award too before an ankle injury sidelined him for over a month.

“I definitely feel like if it wasn’t for that injury, I feel like I would be No. 1 or 2 in the Rookie of the Year race, so I’m ready to get out there and prove myself again,” Herro said, adding that he thought his rookie season went “pretty well” overall.

When Nunn promoted his own candidacy for Rookie of the Year, he pointed out that he has been a full-time starter on a top-four team in the East. Herro’s case would presumably be similar — he wasn’t a starter, but he was an important rotation piece for the 41-24 Heat, averaging 12.9 PPG in 27.2 minutes per contest (47 games).

Still, while Herro and especially Nunn have cases to be included on this season’s All-Rookie First Team, it seems safe to assume that Morant will run away with Rookie of the Year voting.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Asked during an Instagram Live interview about the possibility of being a “Heat lifer” like Udonis Haslem, Bam Adebayo expressed interest in following in the footsteps of his veteran teammate. “If I could, I would like to stay here like (Haslem),” Adebayo said, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “But you never know what happens in the future. Everybody just knew D-Wade was a lifer until he left because of situational reasons. You never know. But for me, I feel like I am. I feel like I would want to be a part of (one) organization like UD did just because I look up to UD.”
  • Even in the unlikely event that the Heat lose all of Derrick Jones, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill in free agency this offseason, the team should still have enough depth to get by at the small forward position, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, pointing to Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, and Andre Iguodala as viable options at the three.
  • With the Heat projected to pick 23rd overall based on the NBA’s current standings, Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald identify some intriguing prospects who might be available in that range in the 2020 NBA draft.
  • On Wednesday, we passed along several comments made by Heat president Pat Riley, including his claim that the club is “close” to being a championship contender.
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