Tyler Herro

Eastern Notes: Celtics, LaVine, Herro, Moore, Jordan

The Celtics could target Bulls swingman Zach LaVine if Bradley Beal doesn’t become available on the trade market this season, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe opines.

Beal, who has spent all nine of his seasons with the Wizards, is considered unavailable in trade discussions today. NBA teams recognize that this could change, however, especially with the 28-year-old entering the final season of his contract.

Boston is well-positioned to make a trade for the next disgruntled star, but Chicago made several upgrades around LaVine this offseason. Nevertheless, LaVine and the Bulls have yet to agree to an extension, making his situation one to monitor if the team underwhelms.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines how bulking up could be beneficial for Heat guard Tyler Herro. The third-year Kentucky product has prioritized getting stronger during the offseason, something that could certainly help him defensively. On the offensive end, Herro has averaged 14.3 points and 2.8 assists in 109 regular-season games to this point, playing 28.8 minutes per contest.
  • The Magic‘s deal with guard E’Twaun Moore is a one-year, fully guaranteed contract at the veteran’s minimum, Keith Smith of Spotrac tweets.
  • Brian Lewis of the New York Post examines how DeAndre Jordan‘s tenure with the Nets came to an end. The veteran center was traded from Brooklyn to Detroit, then reached a buyout agreement with the Pistons — which allowed him to sign with the Lakers as a free agent. The writing was on the wall for Jordan and Brooklyn, as the Nets had penciled in Blake Griffin at starting center, along with Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Claxton off the bench.

Heat Notes: Garrett, Okpala, Lowry, Aldridge, Herro

Heat rookie Marcus Garrett may take over KZ Okpala‘s role as a defensive specialist off the bench, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Garrett was a standout for Miami’s Summer League team and signed a two-way contract this week.

The Heat gave up three future second-round picks to acquire Okpala in a 2019 draft-day trade, but he has struggled with his shot during his first two NBA seasons. He connected at 37.5% from the field and 24.0% from three-point range in limited playing time last year. Winderman states that Garrett’s point-of-attack defense may be a better fit for the team and speculates that the playing time will go to whichever player produces more on offense.

There’s more from Miami:

  • The opportunity to win a title was the main reason that Kyle Lowry chose the Heat in free agency, Winderman relays in a separate story. Lowry explained his reasoning in a recent appearance on CJ McCollum‘s podcast. “For me, it’s only championships or bust,” he said. “Going to Miami, that was a situation where I feel like this is what they want to do. I have a close friend, Jimmy Butler, there and I feel like Miami, that’s what they want to do. It’s about winning championships.” Lowry later added, “If you aren’t playing for championships, what are you playing for? And that’s the only thought process that went into my free agency, is where do I go to become a champion?”
  • The Heat’s history with players who have serious medical conditions may have made them reluctant to pursue LaMarcus Aldridge, Winderman adds in another piece. Aldridge received medical clearance this week to return to the NBA after being forced into retirement when he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in April. He signed with the Nets, the team he joined after a buyout agreement with the Spurs last season. Miami has gone through similar health scares with Chris Bosh and Alonzo Mourning.
  • Picking up Tyler Herro‘s option for 2022/23 was an easy decision, but the Heat will face a tougher choice next summer when he’s eligible for a rookie scale extension, observes David Wilson of The Miami Herald. More than three quarters of Miami’s projected cap space through the 2023/24 season is tied up in Lowry, Butler, Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson, so extending Herro could result in a huge tax bill.

Heat Exercise Tyler Herro’s 2022/23 Option

The Heat have exercised their team option on guard Tyler Herro for the 2022/23 season, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link).

Herro, who has a cap hit just above $4MM this season, will earn about $5.7MM on that ’22/23 option. Now that it has been picked up, the former Kentucky standout is on track to become eligible for a rookie scale extension in 2022 or restricted free agency in 2023.

The 13th overall pick in the 2019 draft, Herro had a big postseason in the Walt Disney World bubble as a rookie in 2020 and was viewed as a candidate for a breakout year in ’20/21. Although his numbers in 54 games were solid (15.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.4 APG), Herro’s three-point percentage dipped a little from his rookie year and he didn’t take a major step forward. Still, he’s only 21 years old and remains an important part of Miami’s rotation going forward.

Herro is the first player this offseason to have a rookie scale team option for 2022/23 exercised. While  decisions on standard team options are typically due right before free agency begins, teams must make their decisions on rookie scale team options a year in advance. By October 31, clubs must either exercise or decline third-year options for first-round picks from 2020 and fourth-year options for 2019’s first-rounders.

Heat Rumors: Lowry, Herro, Dinwiddie, Beal, Dragic, Ariza

The Heat will have interest in Kyle Lowry in free agency, but they’ll face plenty of competition for the veteran point guard, who will have a high asking price, according to Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. A source in touch with Lowry tells the Miami Herald that the 35-year-old is expected to seek a guaranteed three-year contract worth $30MM per year.

Lowry may not ultimately achieve that goal, but he seems likely to get at least $25MM per year, per Jackson and Chiang. The Herald duo suggests a reunion with the Raptors isn’t considered particularly likely for Lowry, but he’s expected to draw interest from the Sixers, Lakers, Mavericks, and Pelicans, as well as the Heat and Knicks.

As Jackson and Chiang outline, the Heat could theoretically open up enough cap room to offer Lowry about $85MM over three years if they waive or renounce several veterans who are free agents or who have non-guaranteed salaries. They could retain RFAs Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn in that scenario, but would otherwise be limited to the room exception and minimum-salary contracts to fill out the roster.

A sign-and-trade for Lowry is another possibility and wouldn’t necessarily require the Heat to part ways with so many veterans, but the Raptors would have to approve the compensation in any deal. Miami remains unenthusiastic about including Tyler Herro in any sign-and-trade for Lowry, according to The Herald.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • If things don’t work out with Lowry, count on Spencer Dinwiddie to be among the Heat’s top targets, according to Jackson and Chiang. Chris Paul could also be an option for Miami if he opts out, though that’s likely a longer shot.
  • If Bradley Beal were to request a trade, the Heat are among the teams that would appeal to him, per The Miami Herald. However, Beal isn’t available for now and Miami wouldn’t be able to offer many draft assets if he does land on the trade block.
  • Goran Dragic isn’t likely to return to the Heat on his $19MM+ team option, but the club would have interest in re-signing him at a lower price point, according to Jackson and Chiang. Miami would also be interested in re-signing free agent forward Trevor Ariza.

Southeast Notes: Herro, Unseld Jr., T. Murphy, Magic

Although Heat president Pat Riley considers Tyler Herro to be a “core player” for the franchise, Herro heard his name in a lot of trade rumors during his second NBA season, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Herro was mentioned frequently as Miami pursued James Harden in January and Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline in March. Now that he’s been exposed to the distraction of trade talk, Herro plans to ignore it in the future.

“I’m done listening to all that, honestly,” he said. “I think every time that we’re not playing or even if we are playing, my name is brought up in something. So it is what it is at this point. Like I said, I’m focused on getting better, getting this team better.”

Herro averaged 15.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game this season while shooting 43.9% from the field, all better numbers than in his rookie year. He has already gained four pounds since the Heat were knocked out of the playoffs and hopes to add between 10 to 12 overall to become stronger for next season.

“I think it translates obviously offensively,” he said. “Getting stronger, I can get to my spots easier and just being able to defend bigger guys than me. I want to be able to be as big as the rest of the vets are in the league. So just gaining weight I think will help me tremendously on both ends.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards conducted 26 interviews before deciding to hire Wes Unseld Jr. as their next coach, writes Ethan Cadeaux of NBC Sports Washington. During an appearance this week on the Sports Junkies podcast, general manager Tommy Sheppard talked about the process, which included 18 formal interviews and eight others over the phone. “We went about it pretty thoroughly, pretty thoughtfully, and where we arrived was at a fantastic, young head coach that has been putting in the time and doing everything he could possibly do,” Sheppard said. “Not a self-promoter, but somebody that was ready for this job.”
  • Potential lottery pick Trey Murphy is scheduled to work out for the Wizards on Thursday, the team announced on its website. A junior out of Virginia, he shot over 40% from beyond the arc last season and ranked seventh in the ACC in made three-pointers. St. Louis guard Jordan Goodwin and Kyree Walker of Chameleon BX will also participate.
  • Josh Robbins of The Athletic proposes a few potential draft-day trades for the Magic involving the other teams in the top six.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Hunt, Hornets, Herro

Having concluded their first round of head coaching interviews, the Wizards are conducting follow-up meetings this week. According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link), the team’s second interview with Wes Unseld Jr. was scheduled to take place today, while Jamahl Mosley is on tap for Friday.

A pair of Milwaukee assistants – Charles Lee and Darvin Ham – were also identified as finalists for the Wizards’ head coaching job. It’s unclear whether they’ve already met a second time with Washington or if those meetings are still to come. Both Lee and Ham, of course, remain active in the NBA Finals, which presumably complicates the scheduling of interviews.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Melvin Hunt, who was the Hawks‘ lead assistant under Lloyd Pierce, won’t return to Atlanta next season as part of Nate McMillan‘s staff, according to a report from Chris Kirschner and David Aldridge of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • The Hornets brought in D.J. Funderburk, Justin Gorham, A.J. Lawson, Alonzo Verge Jr., Duane Washington Jr., and Bryce Wills for pre-draft workouts on Wednesday, according to the team (Twitter link).
  • Heat guard Tyler Herro views this summer as a prime opportunity to continue growing his game and to develop a stronger relationship with head coach Erik Spoelstra, as Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald details. Herro’s first NBA offseason following his rookie season a year ago lasted just over two months, as the Heat faced a quick turnaround following their trip to the NBA Finals.
  • Fred Katz of The Athletic spoke to a “well-respected” NBA scout about the pros and cons of eight of the prospects the Wizards may be evaluating as possible targets with the No. 15 pick.

Heat Rumors: Oladipo, Herro, Yurtseven, Hardaway, Adebayo

An ESPN report in May suggested that Victor Oladipo could resume full-contact basketball activities as soon as November following his quad tendon surgery. However, the Heat aren’t counting on him being ready for NBA games at that point, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Jackson says Oladipo’s camp is hopeful he’ll be able to return to action at some point between mid-December and early February.

It’s uncertain whether the Heat will make much of an effort to re-sign Oladipo, per Jackson, who notes that any deal between the two sides would likely be a “low-money” one.

Given that Oladipo may not be ready until the halfway point of the season, it’s even possible he’ll sit out the year and focus on getting healthy if he and his representatives don’t like the offers they get, Jackson writes. In that scenario, the plan would be for the two-time All-Star to get back to 100% and then return to free agency in July 2022.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Despite some whispers that the Heat haven’t been thrilled with Tyler Herro‘s off-court social life and his work ethic, a team official told Jackson there’s no concern with the 21-year-old in that regard. “He’s a hard worker,” Jackson’s source said, adding that there are no attitude issues with Herro either.
  • Some people within the Heat’s front office are extremely high on late-season signee Omer Yurtseven and believe he could develop into a skilled big man, according to Jackson. In a separate story, Jackson outlines how Yurtseven’s agent Keith Glass originally approached the Heat about his client because of the team’s strong track record for developing young players.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr., who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, is intrigued by the Heat, reports Greg Sylvander of Five Reasons Sports. However, the timing of free agency and cap/contract details are viewed by the Mavericks wing and his camp as obstacles that could impede the two sides from seriously exploring a deal.
  • Asked if he’ll be looking to sell his U.S. teammates on the Heat during the Tokyo Olympics, big man Bam Adebayo smiled and replied, “I might. Or they might ask me. It’s my job to be honest” (link via Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel).

Roster Announced For U.S. Select Team

The roster has been released for the U.S. Select Team, which will help Team USA prepare for the Olympics, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Select Team, which will practice with and scrimmage against the national team during the upcoming training camp in Las Vegas, is made up mostly of first- and second-year NBA players. It will be coached by Erik Spoelstra of the Heat.

Making up the roster are:

Heat Notes: Spoelstra, Salary Cap, Robinson, Herro

Erik Spoelstra will have his first stint with USA Basketball this summer, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, who writes that the Heat head coach will have a role as the coach of the U.S. Select Team. That squad will be made up primarily of younger players and will practice and scrimmage against the Olympic roster. Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards will be among the players on that Select Team, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

While Heat star Jimmy Butler declined an invitation to play for Team USA, his teammate Bam Adebayo will be on the roster, and a number of other Heat players could end up representing other countries in Olympic qualifying tournaments or in the Tokyo Olympics. Spoelstra wanted to get involved as well, as Reynolds writes.

“I really just want to be a part of the program,” the Heat coach said. “I’m always pushing myself to get better in the offseasons; I go visit people and all that stuff. This is going to be a basketball immersion. I mean, the dinners, the team meetings … for where I am right now in my career, I think this is the perfect thing for a summer of development.”

Here’s more out of Miami:

  • The salary cap won’t increase as much by 2022 as was once expected, complicating the Heat’s ability to open up a maximum-salary slot for a 10-year veteran next summer, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. As a result, Jackson wouldn’t be surprised if the club signs some players to multiyear contracts this offseason, giving the club the flexibility to potentially acquire a star via sign-and-trade down the road.
  • Duncan Robinson, a restricted free agent this offseason, said his summer priorities will be to work on developing a reliable two-point shot, getting to the foul line more, and “moving better” on defense. Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald has the details.
  • Based on his conversations with league sources, Ethan Skolnick of Five Reasons Sports (video link) says he thinks there’s a 75% chance the Heat will trade Tyler Herro this offseason. Herro’s name came up in trade rumors prior to the March deadline, but the club was reportedly unwilling to include him in an offer for Kyle Lowry.

Heat Notes: Herro, Adebayo, Draft Picks, Okpala

After averaging 16.0 PPG and making 37.5% of his three-point attempts during last year’s playoff run as a rookie, Heat guard Tyler Herro didn’t take a major step forward statistically in 2020/21. The 21-year-old recorded 15.1 PPG with a .360 3PT% during the regular season and struggled in the postseason (9.3 PPG, .316 FG%).

However, president of basketball operations Pat Riley said multiple times during his end-of-season presser on Thursday that Herro is still a “core player for the Heat, expressing confidence that the second-year guard will continue to make positive strides going forward, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes.

“What happened to him going down the stretch, I actually thought he got better as a player,” Riley said. “If you think about his first year or his first 35 or 40 games, he really was strictly a catch-and-shoot type of player coming off of screens and catching and shooting. The only way that he was ever going to become a complete offensive player is he had to improve his ball-handling with both his right hand and his left hand, and he did. He’s an exceptional ball-handler. Now he can create space and get into gaps and raise on jumpers from almost anywhere.”

Given the Heat’s lack of moveable future draft picks, Herro would be the team’s most appealing trade chip if the front office tried to take a big swing for another impact player this offseason. But Riley’s comments on Thursday suggest Herro remains very much a part of Miami’s “core.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Riley said on Thursday that during last fall’s extension talks with Bam Adebayo, the Heat broached the subject of putting off the big man’s new contract until this year in order to maximize the team’s 2021 cap room. However, Adebayo preferred to sign his extension immediately and the Heat were fine with that, as Jackson relays.
  • Riley hasn’t had any discussions with the Thunder about removing the protections on the 2023 first-round pick Miami owes Oklahoma City, according to Jackson. Making that pick unprotected would allow the Heat to trade their 2025 and 2027 first-round picks, if they so choose, giving them more flexibility in trade talks. However, the Thunder likely won’t do the Heat a favor without receiving compensation — in a similar situation last offseason, the Bucks had to send the Cavaliers a 2025 second-round pick in order to remove the protections on the 2022 first-rounder Milwaukee owed to Cleveland. That allowed the Bucks to free up other future first-rounders for the Jrue Holiday trade.
  • This summer will be a critical one for KZ Okpala, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Okapala was the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 draft, but has yet to develop into a reliable rotation player for Miami and will be entering the final season of his three-year contract. “It’s a blessing that I do have a full offseason with Summer League and all that,” Okpala said. “So I accept my blessing, and I’m going to take advantage of it.”