Tyler Herro

Heat Notes: Dedmon, Robinson, Herro, Adebayo

With Orlando Robinson sidelined due to a fractured thumb and Omer Yurtseven not yet ready to return from ankle surgery, the Heat will have to figure out how they’ll handle their backup center minutes for the seven games before the All-Star break, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Inserting Dewayne Dedmon into Robinson’s role would perhaps be the simplest option, but the veteran big man hasn’t seen any action since being suspended for a game without pay last month, and Jackson hears from a source that the Heat is looking to trade him. If they move Dedmon before next Thursday’s deadline, the Heat could perhaps get another center back in that deal — otherwise, the team could turn to veteran Udonis Haslem for a few games before the All-Star break.

For his part, Dedmon said he hasn’t heard from the club whether he’ll be reinserted into the rotation or whether he’ll be traded, and is just taking things day-by-day for now.

“It’s the business of basketball,” Dedmon said, per Jackson. “Just like you show up to work, I show up to work every day. Whatever the team decides to do in the future, or whatever may happen, you roll with the punches. I’m going to be professional about what I have to do do with my approach to every game and make sure I’m prepared if my team needs me.”

Robinson, meanwhile, told reporters on Thursday that he’s hoping his recovery timeline following his thumb fracture doesn’t have to be measured in weeks, suggesting he’s hoping for a speedy return (Twitter link via Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel).

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • While the Heat will almost certainly stay out of luxury tax territory this season, next season’s payroll will likely blow past the tax line if the team intends to retain free agents like Max Strus, Victor Oladipo, and Gabe Vincent, Jackson writes in another story for The Miami Herald. Jackson would be surprised if ownership signed off on a huge tax bill for the current version of the team and suspects that something will have to give, which could affect how the front office approaches next week’s trade deadline. Moving off Kyle Lowry or Duncan Robinson now or in the summer would put the Heat in a better financial position, Jackson observes.
  • Heat guard Tyler Herro said this week that he never sought clarity from the Heat on whether the team included him in any trade offers for Donovan Mitchell during the 2022 offseason, according to Jackson. “I was curious; I didn’t ask,” Herro said. “I’m sure I was.”
  • Within the same Miami Herald story, head coach Erik Spoelstra expressed confidence that both Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler will be among the seven players voted by coaches as Eastern Conference All-Star reserves. “I think they’ll both make it,” Spoelstra said. “The coaches vote on that, and I think they’re recognized, both those guys, how much they impact winning.” The All-Star reserves will be revealed on TNT on Thursday night.
  • Addressing the possibility of trying to recruit players to Miami in the future, Adebayo said he has mixed feeling about the issue — he would be willing to to it for the “greater good” of the team, but would feel uncomfortable asking Heat management to bring in a friend for the sake of it, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “It would be if it results in winning, and not, ‘Oh, we just want to be on a team just so we can play together,'” Adebayo said.

Heat Notes: Lowry, Herro, O. Robinson, Cain

Kyle Lowry‘s numbers are down this season, but Sunday afternoon he reminded the Heat how valuable he can be in clutch situations, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The veteran guard scored nine points in the final 3:03 as Miami pulled out a tight game against the Pelicans.

It was a welcome breakthrough for Lowry, who had been sidelined with discomfort in his left knee and had scored just 12 total points on eight shots in his first two games since returning. The 36-year-old is in the midst of his worst season in a decade, but he’s still capable of taking over a game.

“We had some really good execution down the stretch and Kyle was a major part of that,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They were bottling up some other stuff and he just kind of went vintage there and made a lot of big plays going down the stretch.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Tyler Herro is still one of the Heat’s youngest players at age 23, even though he’s in his fourth season with the team, Chiang notes in a separate story. Herro is now a mainstay in Miami after signing a four-year extension in the offseason, and he’s formed a pick-and-roll combination with Bam Adebayo that’s among the league’s best. “I think just being cool off the court plays a big role into that,” Herro said. “Having that connection and communicating with each other away from basketball helps when you get out here on the court. It makes it that much easier.”
  • Even though they won on Sunday, the game showcased the Heat’s lack of three-point shooting, notes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami was just 8-of-34 (23.6%) from beyond the arc , and Winderman states that the Pelicans focused on double teaming Jimmy Butler while daring the Heat to shoot threes.
  • Due to a rule preventing teams below the standard roster limit from using two-way players for more than 90 combined game nights, the Heat are down to 23 two-way days remaining in the season and will face difficult decisions soon regarding Orlando Robinson and Jamal Cain, Winderman adds in a separate story. Robinson, who has been seeing time at backup center, received a pro-rated deal after being signed on December 11 and only has 13 days remaining, while Cain has 28 games left. Once their two-way days expire, the Heat would have to sign Robinson or Cain to standard contracts to keep them active or waive them and hope to re-sign them to 10-day deals.

Southeast Notes: Robinson, Dedmon, Lowry, Clifford, Krejci

Two-way player Orlando Robinson may have passed Dewayne Dedmon on the depth chart as the Heat‘s backup center. Robinson finished Sunday’s one-point loss to Brooklyn with six points, nine rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes, while Dedmon didn’t play due to coach’s decision for the first time this season. The Heat outscored the Nets by 24 points with Robinson on the court, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald notes.

“I thought he just gave us great minutes,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Even when we had to take (Bam Adebayo) out in the fourth quarter, that could have been an emotional downer, like a real buzz kill. But O had been playing really well and when I turned to him, everybody else was like: ‘Yeah, let’s do this.’ He’s earned the minutes and I think the way he was really sprinting to the rim on some of the pick-and-rolls and creating a little bit of confusion, really helped us generate some clean looks.”

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat guard Kyle Lowry has been downgraded to out for Tuesday’s game against the Thunder, Chiang tweets. The Heat have a number of injury concerns. Rotation players Caleb Martin (left quadriceps strain) and Duncan Robinson (finger surgery) have also been ruled out, while Tyler Herro (left Achilles soreness) and Adebayo (right wrist contusion) are questionable.
  • Steve Clifford returned for a second stint as the Hornets’ head coach to take them to the next level. The way the season has played out, he now has the task of developing the young players during a rough season. Clifford spoke of trying to strike that balance in a Q&A with Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer in a subscriber-required story. “We need to win and develop these young guys. And definitely this is really a different roster than what we thought it would be, particularly when I first got here,” Clifford said. “But at the end of the day being adaptable as a coach is a big deal, and you want to be the right coach for the team that you are coaching.”
  • Vit Krejci had his contract for this season guaranteed by the Hawks over the weekend when he remained on the roster. Krejci is grateful the front office decided to keep him around, as he told Lauren Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Yeah, it’s a good feeling,” Krejci said. “You know, I worked really hard to be in this position. And I’m glad that the team trusts me and the coaches and the staff, everybody trusts me. So, I’m really happy for that.” Krejci has appeared in 17 games this season.

Eastern Notes: Isaac, Suggs, Herro, Oladipo, Embiid, Brunson

Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley told reporters, including Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link), that forward Jonathan Isaac and guard Jalen Suggs were a “full go” in Monday’s practice. While that is certainly an encouraging update, there is still no return timetable for either player, tweets Price.

The Magic are notoriously cautious when it comes to injured players, but Isaac’s absence has been exceptionally long even by their standards. He last played on August 2, 2020, when he tore his ACL, so he has missed nearly two-and-a-half years of action.

As for Suggs, he has missed 18 consecutive games with right ankle soreness. The 21-year-old has unfortunately been plagued by injuries since he was selected fifth overall in the 2021 draft. After playing in 48 of 82 games as a rookie, he has appeared in just 14 of 37 games thus far in 2022/23.

Here are a few more notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • Heat guard Tyler Herro, who signed a four-year extension before the season started worth a guaranteed $120MM, is emerging as a go-to clutch scorer, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Herro hit his third game-winner of ’22/23 on Saturday in Utah, Chiang notes, capping off a 29-point, nine-rebound, six-assist effort.
  • Victor Oladipo has had a difficult stretch over the past four years, missing a significant amount of time due to a series of leg injuries. While he has played strong defense since returning from left knee tendinosis, he has mostly struggled offensively. However, the Heat guard broke out of his slump by recording 23 points, five rebounds and five assists on Saturday. Head coach Erik Spoelstra believes it could take most of the season for him to really find his rhythm, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I told him the other day, I want him to have a little bit of grace with himself going through this process,” Spoelstra said as part of a larger quote. “We love being on this journey with him and, ultimately, I think it will still take 40 or 50 games for him to get fully in rhythm. But we got a snapshot of what it could look like at the end of this.” Oladipo has now played 11 games in ’22/23, and the Heat have 45 games remaining on their regular season schedule.
  • Sixers star Joel Embiid is questionable for Monday’s contest against New Orleans, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. All-NBA center is dealing with lower back soreness. Embiid is having another excellent season, posting career highs in points (33.2, second in the NBA), assists (4.6), steals (1.2) and FG% (.528).
  • After missing the past three games with right hip soreness, point guard Jalen Brunson will return to action for Monday’s matinee against Phoenix, the Knicks announced (via Twitter). Derrick Rose, who had been out of the rotation until Brunson got hurt, will be sidelined with a contused left knee, per the Knicks (Twitter link).

Heat Notes: Rotation, Dedmon, Butler, Injuries, Herro

The Heat have been unable to play their full roster this season due to injuries. What could happen if the Heat get at or near full strength?

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel explores that question. Gabe Vincent, who has seen some playing time as the backup point guard, could be pushed further down the bench. Coach Erik Spoelstra would have to choose between Max Strus and Duncan Robinson as the backup wing and Haywood Highsmith could also be on the rotation bubble.

The Heat could look to deal backup center Dewayne Dedmon and his expiring contract, along with another player, for some immediate help. In that scenario, Orlando Robinson could be a stopgap as the main reserve until Omer Yurtseven is able to return from ankle surgery.

We have more on the Heat:

  • Speaking of absences, Jimmy Butler was scratched from the team’s game against Chicago on Tuesday due to a gastrointestinal illness, the team tweets. It was the 12th game that Butler missed this season.
  • A trio of other players — Kyle Lowry (left knee soreness), Caleb Martin (left ankle sprain) and Vincent (left knee effusion) — were also sidelined. Two-way player Jamal Cain was recalled from the G League to provide depth.
  • Entering the team’s road trip, Tyler Herro was averaging 15.6 points in the nine wins in which he played and 24.2 points in the 10 losses he played. Herro then averaged a team-high 26.3 points during the Heat’s 4-0 road swing. He debunks the notion that the team tends to do better when he scores less, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “I think it’s a pointless stat. Because the games we’ve won, I’ve shot the same amount of shots and I just ended up missing them,” he said. “So when shots go in, I’ll have above 20. If I miss, I have below 20. It’s make or miss at the end of the day and I don’t think that stat is credible.”

Heat Notes: Health, Oladipo, Reserves, Big Four

At 11-12, the Heat remain below .500 for the time being, but with their lineup finally getting healthy, the team submitted a statement win over the Celtics in Boston on Friday night, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald, who suggests that it may be premature to rule out last year’s two Eastern Conference Finals teams meeting again in that series this year.

“We never lost confidence in this group, in ourselves,” Jimmy Butler said after the victory, Miami’s fourth in five games. “We know what we’re capable of. We just have to go out and prove it. We’re not worried about anybody else, just the guys in our locker room and coaching staff, ownership, management. We have a long way to go but we can get there.”

Given that the Heat are still outside of the playoff picture in the East, tied for ninth in the conference, they’ll need to show more to be widely considered a serious threat to make it to the Finals. But the players in the locker room aren’t worried about what outside observers think the team can and can’t do.

“You got to think about it, we were No. 1 in the East (last season) and people didn’t even pay us any mind,” Bam Adebayo said. “Then being where we’re at now, they’re definitely not talking about us. The biggest thing for us is just stacking up the wins.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Victor Oladipo, who has been sidelined all season due to a knee injury, isn’t ready to offer a specific target date for his return, but said “hopefully soon” when asked when he might be ready to suit up, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “We’ll see. It’s more of a day to day thing, how I feel and what we feel makes the best sense,” Oladipo said. “I trust our training staff and the people I work with as well, coming up with a solid plan and make sure I’m ready to go.”
  • Although Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven remain on the shelf, the Heat are otherwise relatively healthy after fighting a serious battle with the injury bug during the first quarter of the season. Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel examines whether a handful of Miami’s reserves, including Haywood Highsmith, Duncan Robinson, and Nikola Jovic, will continue to see regular playing time now that the depth chart isn’t quite so thin.
  • Friday’s win over Boston represented the first time in over a month that the Heat had Butler, Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, and Tyler Herro all available for the same game. As Winderman details in another Sun Sentinel story, head coach Erik Spoelstra is referring to that quarter as his “Big Four,” and they lived up to that moniker on Friday, scoring 99 of Miami’s 120 points.

Eastern Notes: Simmons, Smart, Heat Injuries, Knicks

Ben Simmons will miss his sixth game this season on Wednesday due to a sore left knee. Nets point guard Kyrie Irving said Simmons’ absences impact the club in many ways, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes.

“When he’s not out there we don’t have our point forward, our point guard, being able to initiate easy opportunities, push the ball in transition; so we’ll definitely miss him in the lineup,” Irving said. “Hopefully he comes back [soon], but if he’s dealing with it we just want him to get as healthy as possible and we’ll figure it out.”

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • In Joe Mazzulla, Celtics guard Marcus Smart feels he has a head coach that fully trusts him, he told Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com. “I think once Coach put his trust in me, we’ve seen how it’s allowed me to blossom and this team to blossom,” Smart said. “So just having a coach that can believe in you and allow you to run the team like he needs you to, that means everything. And then on top of that him being a point guard, that’s just an extra bonus, because he understands the pressure that I have to go through as the point guard in making everybody else happy and sacrificing your own for the team.”
  • The Heat released their injury report for Wednesday’s game and there’s no less than a dozen names on the list heading into their showdown with the Celtics, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven are listed as out, while Nikola Jovic, Dewayne Dedmon, Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin, Tyler Herro, Haywood Highsmith and Duncan Robinson received the questionable tag. Two other players are probable.
  • The most realistic path to improvement for the Knicks is still the trade route, Ian Begley of SNY TV opines. They’ll continue to seek out top talent and have a surplus of draft picks and some young players to offer teams. Stuck in mediocrity, the only question is whether they’ll make a big move before the trade deadline or wait until the offseason.

Injury Updates: Tatum, Herro, Barnes, Langford, More

The Celtics will have star forward Jayson Tatum on the court for tonight’s showdown with the Mavericks, according to Souichi Terada of MassLive.

Tatum was listed as questionable after hurting his left ankle in Monday’s game at Chicago, but coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters that he’ll be able to play without any limitations. Tatum appeared to be moving normally during shootaround, Terada observes.

Tatum is among the early favorites in the MVP race, averaging 30.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists while playing 37.2 minutes per game, the most in his career. He has led Boston to the best start in the league at 13-4.

There’s more injury-related news to pass along:

  • Tyler Herro will return for the Heat tonight after missing eight games with a sprained left ankle, the team announced (via Twitter). Max Strus was downgraded to out due to a shoulder injury, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link).
  • Raptors forward Scottie Barnes will miss tonight’s game with a sprained left knee, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Fred VanVleet is sidelined with an illness, so Toronto is down to 10 available players.
  • Spurs guard Romeo Langford has been cleared to return tonight after missing five games while in the health and safety protocols. Josh Richardson will miss the game after suffering a sprained ankle in Tuesday’s practice (Twitter link), and Zach Collins has been downgraded from probable to out as he recovers from a non-displaced fracture of his fibula (Twitter link). Coach Gregg Popovich sounded optimistic when asked if Collins is close to returning. “Yes, I guess is the answer,” he replied. “He’s just not ready yet. We thought he might be, but he’s not.” Popovich also refused to provide any details about the illness that forced him to miss Sunday’s game, telling reporters, “I’m fine,” Orsborn tweets.
  • Dean Wade, who missed the past six games with knee soreness, will come off the Cavaliers‘ bench tonight and will be on a minutes restriction, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).
  • Nets forward Yuta Watanabe will be sidelined through at least Friday with a hamstring issue, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. An MRI taken Tuesday night confirmed the injury (Twitter link), but Watanabe doesn’t seem concerned. “It’s not that serious,” he said. “… It’s day to day. We’ll see how long it takes.” (Twitter link)
  • Mavericks coach Jason Kidd is optimistic that Maxi Kleber, who’s dealing with a lower back contusion, will be available Saturday or Sunday, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

11 Players Affected By Poison Pill Provision In 2022/23

The term “poison pill” doesn’t actually show up in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, but it’s used colloquially to refer to a provision in the CBA that affects players who recently signed rookie scale contract extensions.

As we explain in our glossary entry, the so-called poison pill provision applies when a player who signed a rookie scale extension is traded before the extension takes effect.

In that scenario, the player’s incoming value for the receiving team for matching purposes is determined by averaging his current-year salary and the salaries in each year of his new extension. His current team, on the other hand, simply treats his current-year salary as the outgoing figure for matching purposes.

For instance, Heat guard Tyler Herro is earning a $5,722,116 salary in 2022/23, but signed a four-year, $120MM extension that will begin in ’23/24. Therefore, if Miami wanted to trade Herro this season, his outgoing value for salary-matching purposes would be $5,722,116 (this year’s salary), while his incoming value for the team acquiring him would be $25,144,423 (this year’s salary, plus the $120MM extension, divided by five years).

[RELATED: 2022 NBA Rookie Scale Extension Recap]

Most of the players who signed rookie scale extensions aren’t candidates to be traded anytime soon. But even in the event that a team does want to look into trading one of these recently extended players, the gap between the player’s incoming trade value and outgoing trade value could make it a real challenge to find a deal that works for both sides.

The “poison pill” provision applies to 11 players who signed rookie scale extensions in 2022. Here are those players, along with their outgoing salaries and incoming salaries for trade purposes:

Player Team Outgoing trade value Incoming trade value
Zion Williamson NOP $13,534,817 $34,639,136
Ja Morant MEM $12,119,440 $34,403,240
RJ Barrett NYK $10,900,635 $23,580,127
De’Andre Hunter ATL $9,835,881 $19,967,176
Darius Garland CLE $8,920,795 $33,870,133
Tyler Herro MIA $5,722,116 $25,144,423
Brandon Clarke MEM $4,343,920 $10,868,784
Nassir Little POR $4,171,548 $6,434,310
Jordan Poole GSW $3,901,399 $26,380,280
Keldon Johnson SAS $3,873,025 $15,574,605
Kevin Porter Jr. HOU $3,217,631 $15,234,726

Once the 2023/24 league year begins, the poison pill provision will no longer apply to these players. At that time, the player’s ’23/24 salary would represent both his outgoing and incoming value.

Until then though, the gap between those outgoing and incoming figures will make it tricky for these players to be moved, with one or two exceptions.

The small difference between Little’s incoming and outgoing trade figures, for instance, wouldn’t be very problematic if the Blazers wanted to trade him. But the much larger divide between Poole’s incoming and outgoing numbers means there’s virtually no chance he could be moved to an over-the-cap team in 2022/23, even if the Warriors wanted to.

Heat Notes: Adebayo, Jovic, Robinson, Butler, Herro, Tax Concerns

The current road trip is turning into a disaster for the short-handed Heat, but Sunday’s loss at Cleveland gave coach Erik Spoelstra a chance to experiment with a new lineup combination, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. First-round pick Nikola Jovic played 17 minutes alongside Bam Adebayo, giving the team two big men who are known for their passing skills.

Although the pairing didn’t get off to a great start — Miami was outscored by four points in their time on the court together — it may be a combination that Spoelstra turns to more often in the future. Adebayo attributed the early struggles to “growing pains” and said he enjoys being partnered with Jovic.

“I feel like with two passing bigs, we can feed off each other,” Adebayo said. “As you can see, (Jovic is) showing he can get in the gaps, he can see stuff. Just working with two guys that can pass, who are versatile, I feel like it makes our offense better.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • The last thing Miami needed was another injury, but Duncan Robinson limped off the court in the fourth quarter after spraining his left ankle, Chiang states in a separate story. Robinson played 21 minutes after missing Friday’s game with a sprained right hand, but he had to leave Sunday’s contest after stepping on another player’s foot. Spoelstra said Robinson’s status for tonight’s game in Minnesota is uncertain.
  • The Heat got some good news about Jimmy Butler, who had to return to Miami over the weekend due to right knee soreness, Chiang adds. Tests on Butler’s knee showed no damage, and there’s a chance he could return Wednesday or Friday. Tyler Herro has missed the past seven games with a sprained left ankle, and Spoelstra said, “He’s not quite ready.” 
  • Miami had just seven healthy players on Friday and 10 on Sunday, but luxury tax concerns have prevented the team from filling its open roster spot, Chiang explains in another piece. The Heat are about $200K below the threshold and can’t add another player right now without becoming a taxpaying team. Even a small tax payment this season would have repeater tax ramifications going forward — the team projects to be a taxpayer in upcoming years after signing Herro to a large extension last month.