Tyler Herro

Heat Notes: Ellington, Roster, Jaquez, Lillard

Wayne Ellington, a 13-year veteran whose last NBA stint came with the Lakers in 2021/22, has joined the Heat as a player development coach, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Ellington will replace Anthony Carter, who left Miami a couple months ago to join the Grizzlies.

Ellington, 35, hasn’t officially retired, but the fact that the longtime shooting guard is joining Miami’s coaching staff is an indication that his playing days might be coming to a close.

According to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link), Ellington was considering continuing his career in a front office role, but the Heat offered him a job as a coach and he accepted it. The team just made the announcement, but Ellington has already been acting in an unofficial capacity for several weeks, Reynolds adds.

The 28th pick of the 2009 draft, Ellington has played in 770 regular seasons games (20.9 MPG) for nine teams during his career, averaging 8.0 PPG and 2.1 RPG while shooting 38.2% from three-point range. He had his most productive seasons during his tenure with the Heat from 2016-19, averaging 10.5 PPG as a shooting specialist (38.4% from deep on high volume).

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald explore what’s next for the Heat after they were unable to trade for Damian Lillard, who landed with the Bucks in a three-team blockbuster. As the authors note, the Heat will have to fill their 14th standard roster spot before the season starts — they currently only have 13 players on standard deals, including Orlando Robinson‘s partially guaranteed salary.
  • First-round pick Jaime Jaquez was involved in the Lillard trade rumors and he admits he heard the speculation, he told Chiang of The Miami Herald. “I won’t lie, at first it was in the back of my head,” Jaquez said earlier this week. “Like what’s going to happen? Am I going to leave? You never know. But as we moved on and time went on, I just got really comfortable in my situation that whatever happens happens. I just believe it’s all a part of a bigger plan. Things happen for a reason. If I stay, great. If I get traded, it was fun while it lasted. But I try not to worry about that. I can only control what I can control.” The former UCLA standout also said he’s fully healthy following a shoulder injury in Summer League and has been working on his shooting and defense ahead of his rookie season.
  • Missing out on Lillard is “close to a worst-case scenario” for the Heat, contends William Guillory of The Athletic. As Guillory writes, Lillard would have been an ideal fit on the offensive end, and he’ll also be joining the rival Bucks, which not only improves Milwaukee’s roster but also may make Giannis Antetokounmpo more likely to sign an extension. Guillory believes the Heat can’t just stand pat and need to bolster their offensive firepower to make another deep playoff run. He also wonders if Tyler Herro will have any lingering resentment after being involved in trade rumors all summer.

Heat Notes: Lillard, Roster, Herro, Hampton

The Heat suffered a major loss when news of the Damian Lillard trade broke on Wednesday, failing to acquire a future Hall of Famer who specifically wanted to be dealt to them, writes Greg Cote of The Miami Herald. Nearly three months after Lillard told the Trail Blazers that he only wanted to go to Miami, he wound up in Milwaukee, where he and Giannis Antetokounmpo may be the greatest obstacle to the Heat’s chances to repeat as Eastern Conference champions.

Miami missed out on Lillard because team president Pat Riley wasn’t willing to increase his offer to Portland and couldn’t find a third team to help facilitate a deal, Cote adds. Riley was counting on Lillard’s preference for Miami and a lackluster trade market to eventually work in his favor.

Cote contends that acquiring Lillard is the type of win-now move the Heat need to make because their championship window is limited with 34-year-old Jimmy Butler as their best player. Adding Lillard would have provided a shot of energy the team needs as it approaches a long season, Cote adds. Instead Miami will open camp wondering how he got away.

There’s more from Miami:

  • With Lillard off the table, the Heat’s options to improve their roster are now limited, observes Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports. Age is an issue as Kyle Lowry and Kevin Love are older than Butler, Rohrbach notes, and so are financial concerns as Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson are owed about $130MM for the 2025/26 season, which represents 90% of the projected salary cap. Rohrbach adds that the summer-long pursuit of Lillard showed Herro’s limited trade value around the league.
  • Butler’s Instagram post on Wednesday accusing the Bucks of tampering in the Lillard deal received an endorsement from Herro, who tweeted, “What he said.”
  • RJ Hampton, who is joining the Heat on a two-way contract, is grateful to be in Miami after spending time with three teams in his first three NBA seasons. “A PRIVILEGE to be apart of this organization, let’s go,” Hampton wrote on Twitter. The Heat opened a spot for Hampton with a series of moves on Wednesday.

Inside The Damian Lillard Trade

Damian Lillard had become more involved with the Trail Blazers over the past two weeks and was preparing to attend training camp with the team if he didn’t get the trade he requested, according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

After nearly three months of waiting, that deal came together on Wednesday, sending Lillard to the Bucks in a three-way trade that also involved the Suns. Lillard hadn’t been reconciling with Portland, the authors add, but he was working out at the team facility and interacting with coaches and teammates to show that he was willing to remain patient as the Blazers’ front office tried to find a trade.

Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, informed general manager Joe Cronin early in September that Lillard was open to participating in camp if a deal didn’t happen before then, sources tell Charania and Amick, and Lillard told team officials that he would be “fully present” for the start of the season while trade talks continued.

However, the authors’ sources say Cronin didn’t want the distraction of having Lillard on the roster when camp began and preferred to get a deal out of the way before Monday’s media day. He viewed the Lillard situation as “a cloud over the organization” and wanted the team to be able to focus on the season ahead without having to worry about Lillard’s future.

Charania and Amick provide more inside information about Wednesday’s blockbuster:

  • When Lillard made his trade request on July 1, he told team officials he only wanted to go to Miami and was expecting to be rewarded for his years of loyalty to the organization. Charania and Amick confirm the Blazers and Heat talked several times in July, but the negotiations never became “substantive,” according to the authors’ sources. Portland asked for Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo in its first call, and Miami eventually decided that Cronin wasn’t serious about working out a deal with them.
  • Sources tell Charania and Amick that in July and August, the Heat were willing to part with three first-round picks, multiple second-rounders and pick swaps, along with Nikola Jovic in a proposal that would have sent Tyler Herro to a third team. However, the Blazers weren’t interested and the relationship between Portland and Miami started to become contentious. It’s worth noting that Miami didn’t technically have three tradable first-round picks available due to an obligation to the Thunder and the Stepien rule.
  • Cronin began serious trade discussions around the league on September 18 and found interest from the Bucks, Celtics, Pelicans, Raptors, Timberwolves and Bulls. All those teams wanted to acquire Lillard, but they were concerned about Portland’s asking price and whether they would have enough talent left on their roster after a deal to compete for a title.
  • Tensions reached a point where Cronin stopped responding to Goodwin in mid-September, sources tell Charania and Amick, and Goodwin began to explore other options that might appeal to Lillard. He was willing to consider the Bucks and Nets, and Goodwin communicated his interest to both those teams. The Raptors also had serious interest, but Lillard’s reluctance to play there was an obstacle until the end, the authors note.
  • The authors’ sources say the Suns started discussing the framework of a Deandre AytonJusuf Nurkic trade in mid-July, but the Blazers wanted to make sure they could avoid the luxury tax when Lillard was eventually dealt. Phoenix would likely have been part of any deal with the Bucks, Nets or Heat, Charania and Amick add.

Heat Notes: Lillard, Jovic, Martin, Love

Despite the recent deluge of rumors linking Damian Lillard to the Raptors, Toronto-based reporter Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link) says the growing consensus around the NBA is that the Trail Blazers guard will ultimately land in Miami, his preferred destination.

If Lillard is sent to Miami, what would the Heat realistically have to give up? One veteran scout who spoke to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald believes that a package of Tyler Herro, three first-round picks, cap filler (likely Kyle Lowry‘s expiring contract), and one player from the trio of Nikola Jovic, Jaime Jaquez, and Caleb Martin would make sense for both sides.

“If I’m the Heat, I offer two (first-round) picks, Herro and one of the three young players, preferably Jovic or Jaquez, and see if anybody tops that,” the scout said. “If you have to give up one more pick, fine. Three picks are rich for a guy who’s 33 with ($216MM) left on his contract. But I could understand offering a third. I would do it if that made the difference in making the deal.”

Previous reporting indicated that Miami initially made an offer that included Herro and two first-round picks.

Because they owe a protected 2025 first-round pick to Oklahoma City, the Heat can currently only include two first-rounders in any trade package, due to the Stepien rule. They would have to reach a separate agreement with the Thunder amending the terms of that traded pick in order to free up a third movable first-rounder. Alternatively, they could offer one or more first-round pick swaps.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Speaking to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, Nikola Jovic discussed his experience playing for Serbia in the FIBA World Cup, the status of a back injury that bothered him earlier in the year, and how it felt to have his name pop up in the Lillard trade rumors. A busy summer helped Jovic not spend much time thinking about that trade speculation, he told Chiang. “You just concentrate on other things. I was just so concentrated on basketball there that I didn’t have time to think about what’s going to happen,” Jovic said. “It’s a business. So what happens happens. But of course, right now when I’m (in Miami) and more people talk about it, it’s different than when I was there and just playing and being in the game all the time.”
  • Chiang also interviewed Caleb Martin, who said that Miami feels like a “second home” to him after two years with the Heat and spoke about the offseason departures of Max Strus and Gabe Vincent. “We have to find that new connectivity and chemistry with the new guys,” Martin said. “But I feel like we got the right type of guys who fit that system and that shouldn’t be hard. It seems like everybody is about winning. You know what it is when you come to play for the Heat. So you just gotta jump in line with the culture. I feel like we got the right guys to do that.”
  • In a pair of articles for The Sun Sentinel, Ira Winderman evaluates the Heat’s depth chart at small forward and power forward. As Winderman observes, one starting lineup decision on tap for Miami will be whether to try Martin as a starter at the four again or stick with a more traditional power forward like Kevin Love.

Latest On Raptors’ Interest In Damian Lillard

The Raptors are now the frontrunners to land Damian Lillard, two high-ranking executives told ESPN’s Marc Spears.

Reports of genuine interest by Toronto’s front office to land the perennial All-Star guard have surfaced in recent days. It’s almost been a foregone conclusion since Lillard requested a trade at the beginning of July that he would inevitably end up with the Heat, his preferred destination.

However, there haven’t been any substantial trade conversations between the Trail Blazers and Heat, according to Spears. Meanwhile, the Raptors have had recent conversations with the Blazers regarding Lillard, though there’s nothing imminent in terms a potential blockbuster deal.

That could change soon. Those same unnamed executives believe Lillard will be dealt before media day next Monday.

Toronto’s package could include some combination of Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes and/or OG Anunoby. The Blazers are also highly interested in the Raptors’ first-round pick, Gradey Dick. The Heat initially offered a trade package that included Tyler Herro and two first-round draft picks, according to Spears’ sources.

While the Raptors front office has long admired Lillard, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports isn’t quite sure if it will go all-in on a 33-year-old point guard with a four-year contract worth upwards of $216MM. Lewenberg doubts the Raptors would include Barnes in any deal and doesn’t see the 29-year-old Siakam as a fit for the Blazers.

He speculates a Lillard package from the Raptors could include Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., Dick, salary filler and multiple first-round picks. In that case, Toronto might need to lift the protections on the 2024 pick it sent to San Antonio in the deadline-day trade for Jakob Poeltl last February.

Whether Lillard would be happy to go north of the border is a major question mark. He believes he’d have a great shot at a ring by joining forces with Heat stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The lack of a state tax in Florida, greater marketing potential and the Heat’s renowned culture also intrigue him, according to Spears.

Southeast Notes: Heat Centers, Kispert, Hornets

The Heat will enter training camp next week with several options to back up starting center Bam Adebayo, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami’s roster could change dramatically with a Damian Lillard trade, but for now the candidates to be the second-string center are Thomas Bryant, Orlando Robinson and Kevin Love, who may be the starter at power forward.

Bryant signed a two-year, veteran’s minimum contract after spending last season with the Lakers and Nuggets. Winderman notes that the 26-year-old was the only big man added to the roster this summer, so it appears the organization is committed to giving him a steady role.

Robinson, 23, signed a standard contract in July after playing on a two-way deal as a rookie. He showed promise last season and during Summer League, Winderman observes, and may be able to earn rotation minutes if he can improve his defense and avoid foul trouble.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Trading for Lillard isn’t the Heat’s only path to success, Winderman adds in a separate Sun Sentinel story. He contends that with the current roster, the team’s outlook will depend on how much improvement from Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Nikola Jovic and Haywood Highsmith can offset the loss of Max Strus and Gabe Vincent.
  • Wizards swingman Corey Kispert established himself as one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters during his second season, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Robbins consulted several NBA scouts to get their view of Kispert, who connected at 42.4% from long distance last year. “The one thing you want to look for often with young guys is: Does he have an elite skill? Does he have something that the coaches can rely on? (Does he have a skill where) they can say, ‘We’re going to put him out there and we know for sure he can do this,’” one scout said. “And Corey does, right? No one’s going to question his ability to shoot.”
  • Theoden Janes of The Charlotte Observer talks to country music star Eric Church about his love for basketball and how he became part of the Hornetsnew ownership group. He calls owning his favorite childhood team “beyond any dream I ever had when I was a young man.”

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Giannis, Hart, Harden

For the first time in years, the Nets will report to training camp without a superstar on their roster, but they have plenty of assets ready for when the next one becomes available, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn is in a transition phase after shipping out Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in separate deals last February. Those trades gave the team a foundation built around Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, along with a parcel of draft assets that can match any team in the league.

The Nets have seven tradable first-round picks through 2030, along with four others that could be involved in swaps. They own unprotected firsts from the Suns in 2027 and 2029 and one from the Mavericks in 2029. Lewis points out that those picks could greatly increase in value as the core in Phoenix becomes older and especially if Irving and Luka Doncic eventually decide to leave Dallas.

Lewis doesn’t expect Brooklyn to use any of its assets to chase players who are currently on the market such as Damian Lillard, Tyler Herro or James Harden. The front office wants to be fully stocked in case a major star such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Donovan Mitchell or Doncic eventually becomes available.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks risk missing out on other opportunities if they decide to wait for the possibility of an Antetokounmpo trade, Ian Begley of SNY.tv states in a mailbag column. He points to Raptors forward OG Anunoby as an example of a useful talent who might be available through trade, but New York can’t make a bid for him if the front office is determined to preserve its assets for a run at Antetokounmpo. Begley also notes that Antetokounmpo could ultimately decide to stay in Milwaukee or force his way to another team.
  • The Knicks appear to have Josh Hart penciled in as their backup power forward, Begley adds. New York hasn’t signed anyone to replace Obi Toppin after trading him to Indiana, and using Hart in that role could open up playing time for free agent addition Ryan Arcidiacono.
  • The attention being focused on a potential Lillard deal is holding up any progress the Sixers could be making on a Harden trade, Derek Bodner states on the latest PHLY Sports podcast. Philadelphia talked to the Trail Blazers about a Lillard deal this summer, Kyle Neubeck adds, but he cautions that doesn’t mean the teams were ever close to a deal.

Jazz, Bulls, Hornets, Nets Interested In Tyler Herro

Add the Jazz to the list of teams that could be involved on the periphery of a Damian Lillard trade, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

In particular, if the Trail Blazers eventually trade Lillard to the Heat, the Jazz, Bulls, Hornets and Nets are all thought to be interested in acquiring Tyler Herro in a multi-team trade, sources tell Fischer. Portland is reportedly unenthusiastic about Herro, in part because the team already has a trio of young guards in Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe and Anfernee Simons.

League personnel also expect the Blazers to ask the Heat for Jaime Jaquez in a possible deal, according to Fischer. A small forward out of UCLA, Jaquez was selected 18th overall by Miami in June’s draft.

Brooklyn has long been considered a team with a level of interest in Herro. The other three teams are new possible landing spots for the 23-year-old, however, from what we’ve seen reported in recent months.

Trade talks for Lillard have picked up steam ahead of training camp, though a deal isn’t considered imminent. The Bulls and Raptors are reportedly among Lillard’s other suitors, despite the veteran guard making it clear (via his agent) that he wants to land in Miami.

Multiple sources tell Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports that the Pacers are another team that could potentially help facilitate a Lillard trade, along with the Suns.

Indiana is looking to move Buddy Hield after extension talks fizzled. It’s unclear where Hield would be headed in that scenario — or if he’d even be involved. Dallas, Philadelphia and Milwaukee are rumored to be interested in the veteran sharpshooter.

Damian Lillard Roundup: Heat, Thunder, Herro, More

The Trail Blazers and Heat remain at a standoff in the Damian Lillard trade talks, with the two sides unable to bridge the gap between what Portland expects to receive for its star guard and what Miami is willing to give up, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on the latest Hoop Collective podcast (YouTube link).

“What the Blazers want – if they’re dealing with one team, if it is Miami or nothing – they want what the Nets got from the Suns (for Kevin Durant),” Windhorst said.

The Nets acquired four unprotected first-round picks along with Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, a first-round pick swap, and two second-rounders in the four-team deal that sent Durant and T.J. Warren to Phoenix at the February deadline. When ESPN’s Tim Bontemps interrupted to say that the Blazers simply aren’t going to get a Durant-esque package for Lillard, Windhorst continued:

“I understand that. And a year ago right now, the Nets weren’t getting it from the Suns, whatever initial talks that they had. But the concept is that (the Blazers) want the Heat to literally scrounge into every nook and cranny and produce everything they possibly can. And the Heat don’t feel the need to do that, and they haven’t since June.”

As Windhorst observes, the Suns only became more willing to make the sort of massive offer the Nets wanted for Durant following the franchise’s change in ownership. Obviously, the Blazers can’t count on their talks with Miami getting that sort of push.

Here’s more on Lillard:

  • Appearing on Back on Figg (YouTube link), Lillard spoke about his desire to win a championship and hinted that Portland’s lack of urgency to contend for a title is the reason why he wants to be traded. “(It’s) like me and you saying, ‘No matter what happens, we ain’t telling on each other,'” Lillard said (hat tip to RealGM). “… And then a day comes where I’m still playing by those same rules. Like, ‘Me and you want the same thing, we’re gonna go out together.’ And then that ain’t the code you want to live by no more. So, when that happens, me and you can’t be how we was. … If me and you don’t want the same thing no more and you show me that you don’t want the same thing, we don’t want the same thing.”
  • Asked during an appearance on the It Is What It Is podcast (Twitter video link) whether he wants to be a Trail Blazer this season, Lillard replied, “In a perfect world, I could spend my entire career in Portland.” Again, it sounds like the implication there is that he’d be comfortable remaining with the Blazers if they were more aggressively building a win-now roster.
  • During an NBA Today segment on Lillard (YouTube link), ESPN’s Marc Spears suggested there might be a mystery Eastern Conference team interested in making a play for the star guard. “Would Boston do it?” Spears said when discussing possible suitors besides Miami. “I’m kind of hearing rumors about another Eastern Conference team that I’m not going to throw out there just yet.”
  • Chris Mannix of SI.com said on The Crossover NBA podcast that he believes the Thunder could enter the Lillard sweepstakes if Dame is still a Blazer in January and Oklahoma City is overachieving. “If they’re playing really well, don’t be surprised if they go out and make a run at Lillard,” Mannix said, per Ross Lovelace of SI.com.
  • Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (subscriber link) questions the Trail Blazers’ apparent aversion to acquiring Heat guard Tyler Herro in a trade for Lillard, arguing that Herro has accomplished more in his career than Anfernee Simons and might immediately become the best player on Portland’s roster.
  • In a separate article for the Sun Sentinel, Winderman notes that if the Heat are able to land Lillard, they’d have three players – Lillard, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo – impacted by the NBA’s new player participation policy. Chicago, Cleveland, Golden State, Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Phoenix are currently the only teams with more than two players affected.

Heat Notes: Lillard, Starters, Wood, Rebounding

The Heat don’t have any reason to increase their offer for Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard unless they’re determined to have him when training camp opens, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes in a mailbag column. No other team has made a significant offer for Lillard, Chiang notes, so Miami would essentially be bidding against itself by giving more assets to Portland.

Chiang adds that the first step would be for the Heat and Blazers to resume trade discussions, which have been dormant for several weeks. Sources around the league tell Chiang that they expect the teams to start talking again some time before they both open camp in early October.

Chiang also speculates that things might get “messier” in Portland if Lillard is still on the roster at the start of camp, which would mark three months after he submitted his trade request. It’s not ideal for the Heat to start preparing for a new season amid so much uncertainty, so the time pressure could renew both teams’ interest in getting a trade completed.

There’s more from Miami:

  • Without a trade, the Heat’s most likely starting lineup appears to be Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love and Bam Adebayo, Chiang adds in the same piece. Butler and Adebayo are the only full-time starters returning from a team that just reached the NBA Finals a few months ago, although Herro was sidelined with an injury and Lowry and Love both have extensive starting experience. Chiang speculates that Caleb Martin could take Love’s place on occasions when Miami wants to use a smaller starting five, and Herro could be used as a makeshift point guard with Josh Richardson starting alongside him in the backcourt.
  • The Heat were mentioned as a possible destination for Christian Wood before he signed with the Lakers this week, but Miami isn’t in position to make complementary roster moves until it knows what’s going to happen with Lillard, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Wood reportedly had been watching the trade requests involving Lillard and James Harden to see if a situation might open up that would offer him regular playing time, but he decided not to wait any longer to find his next team.
  • Erik Spoelstra’s experience as an assistant coach with Team USA during the World Cup provided him with another example of the need for size on the front line, Winderman adds. The Americans were routinely outrebounded by larger opponents, just as Miami was in losing to the Nuggets in the NBA Finals. The Heat finished 27th in the league in rebounding last season, which may affect Spoelstra’s decision on whom to start at power forward.