Tyler Herro

NBA Announces 2020/21 Rising Stars Rosters

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the pared-down nature of the NBA’s 2021 All-Star weekend, a Rising Stars Game showcasing the league’s top rookies and sophomores won’t be played this year.

However, the league has still announced the rosters for the event, via NBA Top Shot, naming the 20 players who would have been selected to participate if the game was taking place. Here are those rosters:

U.S. Team:

World Team:

The 20-man group includes eight rookies and 11 sophomores. The 20th player, Porter, made the cut as a sophomore since he missed his entire rookie season in 2018/19 due to an injury — this is technically his third year of NBA service.

Southeast Notes: Herro, Strus, Magic, Graham

For the second time in two weeks, Heat guard Tyler Herro briefly entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols. When he was first affected by the protocols on January 31, Herro only had to sit out a practice before being cleared, but this time around, he missed Thursday’s game in Houston.

Still, Herro and the Heat got good news today, as the second-year sharpshooter was cleared to rejoin the Heat and resume basketball activities. According to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, Herro was flagged after a Thursday test result, but gained clearance after returning multiple negative tests and was able to join the team on its flight to Salt Lake City for Saturday’s game.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • In Herro’s absence, two-way player Max Strus took on an increased role on Thursday and had arguably the best game of his NBA career, scoring 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 25 minutes. Strus took advantage of the fact that the Heat were without guards Goran Dragic and Avery Bradley in addition to Herro, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I knew that my hard work would pay off at some point,” Strus said after the game. “To be honest, to be doing this this early in the season, I probably didn’t expect that. But it’s a weird year and there’s a lot of weird things going on. So you’ve just got to be ready.”
  • Already without Markelle Fultz for the rest of the season and dealing with injuries to Michael Carter-Williams and Cole Anthony, the Magic lost another point guard on Thursday when Frank Mason left the game with a groin strain, as Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel details. Mason won’t play on Friday in Sacramento, but Carter-Williams is no longer on the injury report, meaning he should be available for the first time since January 4, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
  • Given how well LaMelo Ball has played since entering the starting lineup, the Hornets will have to decide what role Devonte’ Graham will have when he returns from the groin injury that his sidelined him for the last three games, says Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “No matter if he’s a starter or off the bench — if he plays first quarter, second quarter, fourth quarter — the guy produces for us,” head coach James Borrego said of Graham. “Having him back on the floor is a good problem — a good thing for me and for us.”

Heat Notes: Bradley, Dragic, Herro, Nunn

While Heat guard Avery Bradley is frustrated to be missing more time after dealing with a positive COVID-19 test and a knee contusion earlier in the season, he said this week that he’s relieved his calf strain – which will sideline him for about three or four weeks – wasn’t a more serious injury.

“I could just feel the pop, which really scared me because first thing you’re thinking with a non-contact pop is my Achilles,” Bradley said, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “So I was nervous and really frustrated. Now I’m just happy that it wasn’t anything severe and I’ll be able to rehab it.”

If the Heat play it safe with Bradley’s recovery, he likely won’t get back on the court until sometime after the All-Star break, which will run from March 5-10. However, the veteran guard hopes to beat that timeline and “get some games under my belt before the break,” as Chiang relays.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Although Bradley won’t be back anytime soon, fellow guard Goran Dragic (left ankle sprain) could rejoin the Heat as some point during their seven-game, 13-day road trip, which begins on Thursday night in Houston, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
  • Within that same Herald story, Tyler Herro says he has had no problem readjusting to a bench role after opening the season as a starter. “I played the whole (2019/20) year off the bench,” he said. “Doing whatever works for the team (is most important). Everyone hates losing. Moving to the bench wasn’t hard for me. I’ll do whatever this team needs me to do to win.”
  • In a separate story for The Miami Herald, Jackson explores how the Heat could upgrade their roster in the coming months and how they could take advantage of their projected cap room in the offseason.
  • In a mailbag, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel explains why the Heat didn’t try to beat the Knicks to the punch to acquire Derrick Rose and notes that Kendrick Nunn is unlikely to retain the starting point guard role once Dragic and Bradley are ready to go. It’s worth noting that if Nunn starts three more games this season, he’d meet the “starter criteria,” bumping the value of his qualifying offer as a restricted free agent from $2.1MM to $4.7MM.

Heat Notes: Leonard, Nunn, Cap Exceptions, Herro

The Heat will be without Meyers Leonard for the rest of the season following the season-ending procedure he underwent on his shoulder on Tuesday. While the veteran big man hasn’t been a regular part of Miami’s rotation since last February, his teammates will miss his presence in the locker room, according to Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

“He’s one of the best teammates I’ve had, as far as his leadership and his voice,” Tyler Herro said of Leonard. “When he steps into a room or a locker room, he’s always heard and he’s always preaching the right thing.”

“He was always encouraging guys,” Goran Dragic added. “He was the most vocal guy on our team. We’re definitely going to miss him.”

It’s possible Leonard has played his last game for the Heat, since the team is unlikely to pick up his $10.2MM team option for 2021/22.

Here’s more out of Miami:

  • After starting two games for the Heat last week, Kendrick Nunn has fallen out of the team’s rotation for the last two games. Still, even with Miami’s roster closer to full strength, that likely won’t be permanent. “He’s right there. We are finally at a point in the season where we have to make some tough decisions and that’s not an easy decision for the head coach,” Erik Spoelstra said, per Chiang and Jackson. “Guys just need to continue to stay ready and do whatever is necessary to help us get on track and play more consistently.” Nunn would meet the starter criteria and increase the value of his qualifying offer if he starts five more games this season.
  • The Heat have no shortage of salary cap exceptions available, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel, who expects the team will be approved for a $4.7MM disabled player exception following Leonard’s surgery. That DPE would supplement Miami’s $7.5MM trade exception and its $3.6MM bi-annual exception. If the club wants to use any of those exceptions, it would mean trading or releasing a player currently on the roster, since the 17-man squad is full.
  • Tyler Herro, who briefly entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols over the weekend before being cleared, explained on Tuesday that his girlfriend recorded a false positive COVID-19 test (Twitter link via Winderman). Once she recorded two negatives, Herro was cleared to rejoin the Heat without missing any games.

Tyler Herro Avoids Being Sidelined By COVID-19 Protocols

FEBRUARY 1: Herro is available to play on Monday night, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel tweets.

JANUARY 31: Starting Heat point guard Tyler Herro has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols for the novel coronavirus, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). We relayed earlier today that Herro discovered that his roommate tested positive for COVID-19 during halftime of the Heat’s 105-104 victory over the Kings last night.

Herro is missing practice with the team today and is questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Hornets.

No other Heat players have entered league COVID-19 protocols, Winderman notes, which would suggest that contact tracing has not pointed to teammates needing to quarantine at this juncture. If a contact tracing investigation determines that a player was in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus, he is typically required to isolate and test negative for a week before returning to his club.

The Heat have been beset by a number of coronavirus-related absences in recent weeks. Herro’s All-Star teammate Jimmy Butler finally returned to the club last night after missing 10 games due to COVID-19 protocols. He scored 30 points in the win.

Southeast Notes: Westbrook, Herro, Anthony, Hunter

Frustrations may be boiling over for Wizards guard Russell Westbrook, who was involved in his second on-court incident of the week Friday night, writes Chris Cwik of Yahoo Sports. Westbrook was ejected from the loss to the Hawks after a game-long battle with Rajon Rondo. They both received technicals for a second-quarter altercation, then Westbrook picked up another one after shoving Rondo in the fourth quarter.

Westbrook was also involved in a double-technical incident Tuesday in Houston during an exchange with John Wall, the player he was traded for in December. The combination of losing and a sub-par shooting year are undoubtedly contributing to Westbrook’s short fuse.

“Honestly, it’s more on me,” he responded when asked about the dispute with Rondo. “I cannot allow myself to stoop down to anybody’s level. That’s not my character, who I am.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat may have another looming COVID-19 problem, according to an ESPN story. Tyler Herro learned at halftime Saturday night that someone he lives with has tested positive for the virus. He’s not sure yet if he’ll have to quarantine. Kendrick Nunn didn’t play Saturday because the team was awaiting his test results, but he was cleared by the second quarter. Jimmy Butler returned after missing 10 games due to health and safety protocols.
  • The Magic are being patient with first-round pick Cole Anthony as he goes through the ups and downs of being a rookie, notes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Anthony, who has moved into the starting lineup for the past 12 games, has impressed teammates with his desire to improve. “He’s hard on himself,” said James Ennis, who serves as a mentor to Anthony. “He doesn’t like making mistakes. I give him credit. He’s tough. It’s hard to find young guys like that. He listens, also. So it’s hard to find young guys that come in and listen and want to compete and just want to be perfect.”
  • The Magic aren’t likely to re-sign Evan Fournier when he becomes a free agent after this season, Robbins adds in the same piece. Although Fournier is only 28, Orlando has some cap concerns after giving extensions to Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz. Robbins expects the team to explore trade offers for Fournier if it falls out of the playoff race before the March 25 deadline.
  • De’Andre Hunter‘s condition will be reviewed this week after an MRI Saturday showed articular wear and tear in his right knee, the Hawks announced in a press release. Hunter will be held out of Monday’s game against the Lakers.

Injury/Illness Updates: Herro, Pritchard, Wall, Wood, Porter Jr.

Heat guard Tyler Herro returned to Miami on Friday for the remainder of the team’s four-game trip, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes. Herro seemed ready to return to action after practicing on Thursday but woke up Friday with more neck soreness. He has missed four consecutive games and will also be absent from Miami’s two-game set in Brooklyn against the Nets on Saturday and Monday.

We have more injury updates:

  • Celtics rookie guard Payton Pritchard suffered a right knee sprain against the Sixers on Friday and did not return, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Pritchard was injured during a “friendly fire” incident when Jaylen Brown fell on his leg. Coach Brad Stevens said afterward that Pritchard would undergo testing in the next day or two.
  • The Rockets are hopeful that John Wall and Christian Wood will be back in uniform on Tuesday for the team’s home game against Washington, Ben DuBose of Rockets Wire relays. Wall missed his fifth straight game on Friday due to knee soreness, while Wood didn’t make the trip to Detroit due to an ankle sprain.
  • Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. returned to action on Friday after a 10-game absence, according to ESPN’s news feed. Porter had been sidelined due to the league’s healthy and safety protocols.

Latest On James Harden

James Harden made some late-night headlines on Tuesday, declaring in the wake of a second consecutive blowout loss to the Lakers that he feels the Rockets are “just not good enough” and that he doesn’t believe the situation in Houston can be fixed.

Harden’s comments represent an escalation in his efforts to force his way out of Houston, but the Rockets’ front office has remained determined to have its asking price met, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who reiterates that the team is seeking a young franchise cornerstone, along with a collection of draft picks and/or young talent.

A source close to the situation tells MacMahon that the Rockets have had active trade talks with “more than a half dozen teams” and have kept in touch with Harden about those options. The former MVP has continually received assurances from team owner Tilman Fertitta that he’ll be traded, per ESPN, but it seems those assurances haven’t included a specific timeline — and Harden seems to be losing patience.

Here’s more on the situation:

  • Harden’s desire for a trade was reinforced following Sunday’s blowout loss to the Lakers, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who says the 31-year-old is eager to maximize his window to contend for a championship and no longer believes that can happen with the Rockets.
  • While Harden has expanded his list of preferred landing spots, sources tell Iko that the Nets remain atop that list. The general belief has been that Brooklyn would offer a package headed by Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen, but one league executive who spoke to Joe Vardon of The Athletic on Tuesday believes that if a trade between the Nets and Rockets happens, it would have to be centered around Kyrie Irving.
  • Tuesday’s performances from Tyler Herro (34 points), Duncan Robinson (26 points), and Precious Achiuwa (17 points and 13 rebounds) helped reaffirm why the Heat are unwilling to send all their talented young players to Houston in a package for Harden, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Jackson recently reported that Miami is open to offering “a couple” of their young players and a future first-round pick for Harden, but the Rockets want significantly more than that.

Southeast Notes: Heat, Harden, Bradley, Richards, Anthony

When they were exploring a possible James Harden trade before the start of the season, the Heat were open to including “a couple” of their young players and their 2025 first-round pick in a package for the star guard, says Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. However, the Rockets‘ asking price was significantly higher.

According to Jackson, even if the Heat had offered Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Precious Achiuwa, KZ Okpala, and first-round picks in 2025 and 2027 (along with Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk for salary-matching purposes), it’s not clear that would have been enough to satisfy the Rockets.

The Heat reportedly pulled out of Harden discussions on December 21. Jackson writes that team president Pat Riley thinks highly of Harden, but would only be willing to make a deal for the Rockets star at “a price that’s palatable to him and the organization.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Avery Bradley‘s defense has been as strong as advertised, and he’s also making an impact on offense in his first season with the Heat, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Bradley’s play in the early going has impressed his teammates, as well as head coach Erik Spoelstra. “Avery is a guy that can play in any system,” Spoelstra said. “As long as it’s a contending team, he fits. He’s a really good basketball player. He’s a winner. And he’s a two-way player, a legit two-way player.”
  • Rookie Hornets center Nick Richards has been ruled inactive for today’s game against the Hawks due to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols, the team announced (via Twitter). It’s not clear how long those protocols will keep Richards out of action, but it shouldn’t have an impact on Charlotte’s rotation, as he has logged just 11 total minutes so far this season.
  • The Magic have a spotty player development over the last decade, having set the franchise back years by failing to get the most out of the likes of Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, and others, according Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who examines how the team is looking to avoid repeating those failures with 2020 first-rounder Cole Anthony.

Heat Notes: Iguodala, Spoelstra, Herro, Robinson

The Heat could benefit from testing Andre Iguodala at starting power forward for the foreseeable future, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel opined in his recent “Ask Ira” mailbag.

Iguodala, who was acquired by the Heat last February, has started two straight games after coming off the bench in his first three contests. Miami has started five different lineups in five games, seeking to finalize its group while juggling injuries.

The Heat started Jae Crowder alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in their run to the Finals last season, though the team opted not to re-sign Crowder with intentions of maintaining salary-cap flexibility for this season and next summer. The club has also tried Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless in that position thus far.

Should the Iguodala experiment not pan out (he’s a former Finals MVP, but he’s also turning 37 this month), Miami could test Jimmy Butler alongside Adebayo and start a player such as Avery Bradley instead. The team could also examine the trade market and pursue players such as P.J. Tucker, LaMarcus Aldridge or Blake Griffin ahead of the March 25 deadline if it so chooses.

There’s more out of Miami tonight:

  • Erik Spoelstra isn’t making any excuses for the team’s poor offensive start to the season, Khobi Price of the Sun Sentinel writes. Miami currently owns the third-worst offensive rating in the league at 101.8, according to Price, though the campaign is still young. “It is so early,” Spoelstra said. “You know what we did today? We worked on it. It’s going to get better. We know it will. But there’s no point in me talking about all the little details.”
  • Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald examines how Tyler Herro has adjusted to his new role as the team’s starting point guard. Goran Dragic unquestionably remains the best point guard on the roster, but Miami has tested Herro with hopes of finding a long-term fit at the position.
  • Ira Winderman ponders in a separate “Ask Ira” mailbag whether another level of play is needed from Duncan Robinson, who’s likely been at the top of opposing teams’ scouting reports this season. Robinson established himself as one of the league’s top three-point shooters last season, with rival teams working to slow him down after a productive campaign. He remains an underrated passer, though his game inside-the-arc is a work in progress.