Tyler Herro

COVID-19 Updates: Grant, Batum, Herro, McConnell, Smart, T. Jones, Jenkins

Sidelined since December 10 after surgery on his right thumb, Pistons forward Jerami Grant has now entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Grant has been making progress toward playing again and began a rehab assignment with the G League’s Motor City Cruise this week.

Grant is considered the “grand prize” by some observers heading into the trade deadline and has been the subject of rumors involving at least nine teams. His time in the protocols could further limit the number of games he can play before Detroit has to make a decision on a deal.

He and rookie center Luka Garza are the only players currently in the protocols for the Pistons, who recently were among the hardest-hit teams in the league by COVID-19.

Here are some more protocol-related updates:

  • Clippers forward Nicolas Batum has been placed in the protocols, tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Batum also spent time in the protocols in November.
  • Heat guard Tyler Herro has entered the protocols, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). Herro is the only Miami player currently in the protocols.
  • Pacers guard T.J. McConnell, who may miss the rest of the season after having hand surgery, has been placed in the protocols, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files.
  • Celtics guard Marcus Smart has exited the protocols, the team announced in its injury report. However, he’s not playing tonight due to “return to competition reconditioning.”
  • Spurs guard Tre Jones has cleared the protocols, tweets Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express News. He missed seven games while he was out of action.
  • Taylor Jenkins is out of protocols and is coaching the Grizzlies tonight, according to Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian (Twitter link). Jenkins missed six games.

Florida Notes: Chalmers, Knight, Bam, Lowry, Magic

Veteran point guard Mario Chalmers, fresh off a 10-day hardship exception contract with the Heat, has joined the club’s NBAGL affiliate club, the Sioux Fall Skyforce, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Chalmers will be able to sign his next NBA contract with any team. Winderman adds that veteran point guard Brandon Knight, who enjoyed a more active 10-day hardship exception stint while with the Mavericks, has also rejoined the Skyforce.

Chalmers, 35, did not appear in an actual game during his Heat return stint. He has not played in an NBA contest since appearing in 66 games during the 2017/18 season while on the Grizzlies. The 6’2″ vet served as the starting point guard for Miami’s two most recent championship teams, during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. In three games with Dallas, Knight, who went to high school in Fort Lauderdale, averaged 10.0 PPG on 45% field goal shooting, along with 2.7 APG and 2.3 RPG.

There’s more out of the Sunshine State:

  • Sixth Man of the Year candidate Tyler Herro could get fairly pricey should the Heat want to offer him a contract extension when he becomes eligible this summer, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Jackson examines the impact a lucrative Herro deal would have on the club’s long-term payroll, and what it could mean for the team’s future tax payments. The 6’5″ reserve shooting guard, 22, is enjoying his best season as a pro during his third year with Miami, averaging a career-best 20.6 PPG and 4.1 APG, along with 4.9 RPG and 0.6 SPG. He boasts shooting splits of .428/.388/.870.
  • Heat center Bam Adebayo‘s teammates are excited for the big man to possibly make his return this week, writes Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. The 6’9″ big man, an All-Star in 2020, continues to recuperate from a thumb injury and is on track to play on Monday vs. Toronto. He has played in just 18 games this year, having last suited up on November 29. Chiang adds that veteran starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who has played at a borderline All-Star level with his new team, is ready to face off against his last NBA club, the Raptors, for the first time since departing in a sign-and-trade deal this summer. Lowry, 35, was a six-time All-Star with Toronto.
  • Healthy young Magic players were encouraged by the recent bench presence of several injured teammates, who traveled with the club during a recent 1-2 three-game road stint, writes Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel. “Once we get everybody healthy, we’re going to build something special over here,” second-year point guard Cole Anthony noted, a somewhat optimistic projection for the team with the worst record in the NBA (8-36). Pricey power forward Jonathan Isaac, who has been out with a torn ACL since August 2020, traveled with the team for the first time since his injury. The 24-year-old recently took part in a team shootaround, along with injured guards Markelle Fultz, Michael Carter-Williams and E’Twaun Moore, but has yet to take contact. Rookie guard Jalen Suggs, the fifth pick in the 2021 draft, was available for two games during the road swing, his first contests with the club since being sidelined by a thumb fracture on November 29.

Southeast Notes: Herro, Heat, Gallinari, Beal

Heat guard Tyler Herro believes his tumultuous 2020/21 campaign has helped him succeed this season, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. Herro has showed improvement from last season, raising his averages across the board for Miami thus far.

“I think I’m more mature,” Herro said. “I’ve been through, not everything, but enough now to know what to expect, really. Just having a couple years under my belt, things change quickly in this league. So just being able to adjust, make adjustments on the fly, stay ready and just continuing to put the work in every single game. I’m just worrying about the end goal and the end result.”

Herro averaged 15.1 points and 3.4 assists in 30.3 minutes per game last season, shooting 43.9% from the floor and 36% from deep. Those averages have increased to 20.6 PPG and 3.9 APG in 32.8 MPG this season, shooting 42.7% from the field and 38.8% from downtown.

Here are some other notes out of the Southeast:

  • The Heat are moving on from their six 10-day hardship players with appreciation for their efforts, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes. Two-time champion Mario Chalmers is among the players Miami signed as the team dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak, but Chalmers never saw any action. The club is now 25-15, good for third in the Eastern Conference.
  • Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari would like to remain in Atlanta throughout the rest of the season, he told SkySport (as relayed by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The NBA’s trade deadline falls on February 10 this year. “I am ready to stay and I would love to remain for the remainder of the season because a change of a team is never easy, for several reasons. But anything can happen,” Gallinari said.
  • Wizards star Bradley Beal isn’t concerned by not receiving many All-Star votes to date, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. Beal wasn’t included in the top-10 rankings of the NBA’s first fan voting returns last week. “Yeah, I’ve seen it,” Beal said. “You know me, it’s the same every year or every other year. I control what I can control, I don’t control the fan voting or anyone that votes for that matter.”

And-Ones: Thomas, Goodwin, Nurkic, Herro, Hawks/Celtics Trade, Rivers, Carlisle

Maccabi Tel Aviv has targeted former NBA guard Khyri Thomas to improve its backcourt depth, Donatas Urbonas of Basketball News reports. Thomas, a 2018 second-round pick, played in Spain last month before suffering an injury. He saw action in five games with Houston last season and came off the bench in 34 games for Detroit during the previous two seasons.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Archie Goodwin has signed with Budivelnyk Kyiv in the Ukraine, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Goodwin had been playing in France. Goodwin played four seasons in the NBA, most recently in 2016/17 for the Pelicans and Nets.
  • The Trail BlazersJusuf Nurkic and Heat‘s Tyler Herro each drew $25K fines for an altercation on Wednesday, NBA Communications tweets. They were both ejected in the final minute of Miami’s victory. Herro shoved Nurkic in the back after the Portland center knocked the guard to the floor on a screen. Nurkic retaliated with a shove to the face.
  • Could a blockbuster deal energize the inconsistent Hawks and Celtics? Sports Illustrated’s Michael Pina proposes a Jaylen Brown trade in which the Hawks would give up De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, Jalen Johnson and two unprotected first-round picks.
  • Nearly half of the league’s head coaches have entered the health and safety protocols this season. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer talks to Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers and Indiana’s Rick Carlisle on how they interacted with their assistants during their absences.

Heat Notes: Kidd, Herro, Knight

The Heat are off to a 6-1 start to the new season, including wins over four playoff teams from last season: Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Memphis and Dallas.

Count Mavericks coach Jason Kidd among several Hall of Famers who like the Heat’s chances this season, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

The Heat, I would consider them the best team in the league right now,” Kidd said following the Heat’s 125-110 win over the Mavs Tuesday night.

TNT analyst and Pacers legend Reggie Miller thinks the Heat’s top-ranked defense has made them an East favorite.

I like Miami’s chances of winning the East because of their defense,” Miller said.

Fellow TNT analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley says the Heat are “for real,” and Shaquille O’Neal thinks the Heat should be a top-four seed in the playoffs, per Jackson.

You bring in two players that have championship mentalities and championships in Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker. Then you bring in Markieff Morris and Victor Oladipo. We all know the culture of Miami, how they play and how they win. They are going to go really, really far. They’re going to have home-court advantage in the first round,” O’Neal said.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Tyler Herro has settled into his role as sixth man and thinks he can win some hardware this season, writes Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “I just want to win a championship,” Herro said to Chiang when asked to list his goals for the season. “Obviously, Sixth Man of the Year, for sure. Most Improved. I feel like I can compete for those two, for sure.
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sentinel thinks that Herro might be the most irreplaceable member of the Heat rotation at the moment. Herro set a record for most points off the bench through seven games in NBA history (157), breaking a mark held by Jason Terry. Herro’s hot start has made it so defenses can’t key in on any one player, Winderman relays. “We got a bunch of guys who are really unselfish, a bunch of guys who can go off in any quarter, whether it’s 10 to 20 points in a quarter,” Herro said. “We’ve got multiple guys that can do that. One quarter it may be me, one Jimmy. I think every quarter and every possession teams are on their heels, because they’re game planning for a lot.
  • In a separate story, Chiang spoke to NBA veteran and Miami native Brandon Knight, who is grateful for the opportunity to join the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. “Me growing up in South Florida, it’s a dream even to play here in Sioux Falls,” said Knight. “I don’t take it for granted. This opportunity means the most to me, just growing up watching Tim Hardaway, [Alonzo Mourning], Dan Majerle, [Jamal] Mashburn. Being from down here and having this opportunity, I’m thankful for all the staff, all the management, the owner to allow me this opportunity to come to Sioux Falls and continue playing. It’s a blessing.”

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Hornets, Riley, Butler

The 3-3 Hawks have yet to recapture the momentum that propelled them to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, writes Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. With an intimidating schedule coming up in which Atlanta will play several 2021 playoff teams, Kirschner offers his thoughts on how the club can adjust.

While forwards Cam Reddish and John Collins have exhibited plenty of growth, other key Hawks players have struggled a bit. Point guard Trae Young is struggling to adjust to the league’s new free throw rules, while shooting guard Kevin Huerter is struggling to connect from deep.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets have already enjoyed a promising start to the 2021/22 season, writes Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer. New additions Ish Smith and Kelly Oubre have fit in well thus far, with Oubre connecting on a solid 35.7% of his three-point looks. 2022 restricted free agent forward Miles Bridges has taken his scoring to borderline All-Star heights, and Boone is pegging his future contract in the $100MM vicinity. When it comes to perimeter depth, Boone observes that Cody Martin, Jalen McDaniels, and Nick Richards are also improving.
  • The hot start of the Heat has Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel wondering if team president Pat Riley has finally nailed the club’s supporting lineup around All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The club has wholly recalibrated its frontcourt depth around Adebayo, and the early results have paid dividends thus far. The addition of former Raptors All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry has made a huge defensive impact on Miami, though his offense is struggling so far. Sixth man Tyler Herro also appears to have taken a leap in his third season.
  • Heat All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler has thrived alongside new addition Kyle Lowry. Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald wonders if Butler has been newly maximized as a player alongside the former six-time All-Star point guard.

Southeast Notes: Yurtseven, Harrell, Wizards, Herro, Lowry

Heat rookie center Omer Yurtseven has only played 11 minutes so far this season, but time and place are still the questions for the 23-year-old, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes.

Yurtseven, who is eligible to spend time with the team’s G League affiliate. is currently behind starter Bam Adebayo and veteran Dewayne Dedmon in the club’s rotation. As Winderman notes, regularly practicing against against those big men and staying available at the NBA level might benefit Yurtseven more than playing in the G League.

“I think this is where I want to be at ultimately,” Yurtseven told the Sun Sentinel. “And I think that I’m adjusting to it and doing whatever is necessary to conquer this beast.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Speaking of the Heat, Ira Winderman examines whether Pat Riley‘s best move this offseason was choosing to keep Tyler Herro. Herro has started the season on a strong note, scoring 26 off the bench against Charlotte on Friday night.
  • Wizards big man Montrezl Harrell has quickly connected with his new team’s fans, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “I’m from North Carolina. It’s only like three hours from here, so I feel like I’m kind of in my backyard,” Harrell explained. “This is down south, homegrown people that love the hard work, the grittiness, the toughness, the coming in and putting on your hard hat every day just ready to work. You’re not really coming in and thinking you’re better than someone or just going off your name. You’re coming in ready to work and they’re gonna get behind that.”
  • Veteran guard Kyle Lowry is actively helping the Heat return to contention, Dan Devine of The Ringer writes. Lowry — along with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo — have formed Miami’s newest “big three,” and led the team to four wins in five games. The Heat’s only loss has come when Lowry didn’t play (sprained ankle).

Heat Notes: Herro, Vaccine, Two-Way Spots, Roster

After an impressive preseason, Heat guard Tyler Herro has given the team a reason to be optimistic entering the 2021/22 season, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes.

Herro poured in more than 25 points in three of his five outings, scoring from all three levels. The 21-year-old is coming off a campaign where he averaged 15.1 points, five rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. He’s expected to be the team’s sixth man this season.

“I mean it feels good, a lot of hard work this offseason,” Herro said. “We’ve got a great group of guys, just feeding life into me, really putting me in positions to be successful, whether it’s the coaching staff or the players around me. So just continuing to work and one day at a time.”

There’s more out of Miami tonight:

  • Every player on the Heat is fully vaccinated, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. “We’re a fully vaccinated team, so we can do different things than last year,” Herro said when asked about the first preseason road trip. “It was a little different. Getting on the road was really good for us. Just being on the road and experiencing that for the first time together was good.”
  • Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald examines how filling both two-way spots impacted the team’s Exhibit 10 players. Miami waived Javonte Smart, Dru Smith, Micah Potter and D.J. Stewart on Friday, which was procedural since Caleb Martin and Marcus Garrett already occupy the club’s two-way spots.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel explores whether the Heat might’ve moved too quickly with its current roster. Miami is looking to contend again this season — just one calendar year removed from reaching the NBA Finals.

Heat Notes: Herro, Okpala, Adebayo, Spoelstra, Olympics

Heat guard Tyler Herro is off to an electric start to the preseason, increasing the hype around the 21-year-old entering his third NBA campaign, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

Herro has scored 26, 24 and 26 points in his first three games, respectively, shooting 28-of-50 from the field (56%). Miami will depend on his scoring off the bench as it looks to compete for a title this season.

“He has really improved all across the board,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “His skill level is extremely high. He has really worked at it. This is a league that’s becoming a league of skill and he’s developing into one of the most skilled players in this league. You can see he gets where he needs to get. He can get to different levels on the floor. So, it’s a very good start for him.”

There’s more out of Miami today:

  • The clock is ticking on forward KZ Okpala, who’s also entering his third season with the organization, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes. The Heat traded three second-round picks to acquire Okpala on the night of the 2019 NBA Draft, but the 22-year-old has played just 42 games in the last two seasons. Okpala is expected to play behind Max Strus and Markieff Morris as a third-string player to start the season.
  • The team’s game against San Antonio on Friday served as a reunion for Bam Adebayo, Erik Spoelstra and Gregg Popovich, Chiang writes in a different piece for the Miami Herald. Adebayo played for Popovich last summer on Team USA, while Spoelstra served as head coach of the select team. “It was an amazing basketball and life experience,” Spoelstra said. “I’ve admired Pop, like everybody in this business, for years. To be able to see him behind the scenes in that setting was like a Master’s class in coaching and also human being relations. It’s amazing how he makes everybody feel like they have a role, that they matter and he has a great way of making the entire room feel inclusive.”
  • Ira Winderman examines whether Tyler Herro has already cemented his role this season in his latest mailbag for the Sun Sentinel. In addition to using Herro as a sixth man, Miami has also given him some minutes at point guard when Kyle Lowry sits during the preseason.

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.