Tyler Herro

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Winslow, Carter, Herro

At the midpoint of the Hornets‘ 2019/20 NBA season, the team has shown growth under second-year head coach James Borrego, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer notes.

Bonnell goes on to report that the Hornets are the only team with a losing record that is still among the top-10 in the league in net rating in clutch time, thanks mostly to the clutch play of promising youngsters Devonte’ Graham, PJ Washington and even the 25-year-old Terry Rozier. Bonnell cautions optimistic fans that just two of the team’s 15 victories came against teams with winning records, and notes that the 15-26 team is still firmly in rebuild mode.

Rozier, an expensive free-agent gamble inked this summer to a three-year, $57MM contract to be the team’s starting point guard, has become effective as the team’s starting shooting guard after the ascendant Graham emerged as the best option to run the point for the Hornets.

Bonnell wonders if the 6’1″ Rozier can be a long-term fit as the team’s shooting guard, and whether forwards PJ Washington and Miles Bridges, similarly built at 6’7″, can truly coexist starting alongside each other in the frontcourt long term. Bonnell feels that shooting guard and center should be the Hornets’ next big positional targets in the 2020 NBA draft.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Heat guard Justise Winslow, in the first season of a three-year, $39MM contract extension, has been saddled with several maladies this season. He has appeared in just 11 of a possible 38 games for Miami. Ira Winderman of the Florida Sun-Sentinel opines that Winslow has an incentive to return to the court quickly and be effective for the Heat, as the third season of his extension during 2021/22 is a team option.
  • Evergreen Hawks veteran swingman Vince Carter, the 42-year-old surefire Hall of Famer who will retire this spring after spending parts of four decades in the NBA, isn’t letting his age detract from his effort on defense. Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington observes that Carter tried to draw a charge call at half-court against a charging Ish Smith, 31. “Trust me, I’ve been run over by Shaq,” Carter said. “So as he long as he doesn’t hit me in my knees I’m good.”
  • Heat rookie wing Tyler Herro is confident of his standing among his fellow NBA freshmen, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. “I just know what me and [fellow Heat rookie] Kendrick Nunn got going on,” Herro said. “I think I’m one of the best rookies in this class for sure. Obviously there’s a lot of great rookies with Ja Morant and RJ [Barrett]… But I feel we have two of the best rookies.”

Heat Notes: Waiters, Johnson, Robinson, Olynyk

Both Dion Waiters and James Johnson remained on the bench throughout the Heat’s 19-point loss at Boston last night, leading Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel to wonder about their futures with the organization. Waiters, who recently returned from his second suspension, hasn’t gotten on the court at all this season. Johnson, who failed to meet conditioning standards at the start of training camp, has appeared in just six games.

Winderman believes management is drawing a “hard line” about conditioning, comportment and sacrifice, which may mean a lot of bench time for Waiters and Johnson going forward. Both players have contracts that won’t be easy to trade, as Waiters is signed for $12.65MM next season, while Johnson has a $16MM player option.

There’s more this morning from Miami:

  • Heat officials were unanimous in their selection of Tyler Herro with the 13th pick in this year’s draft, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Herro is off to an excellent start, averaging 13.6 points per game and shooting 39% from 3-point range. Miami viewed him as an elite shooter who could also contribute to the offense in other ways, and he received a glowing recommendation from his college coach, John Calipari, who said Herro has the gym rat qualities that the Heat look for. “Plus we needed shooting,” an unidentified Heat official said. “It was not a hard decision; he was our guy. We felt he had not only the stroke, but a lot of intangibles that were really unique.”
  • After Duncan Robinson went undrafted in 2018, the Heat were his first choice because coach Erik Spoelstra contacted him the night before the draft, Jackson adds in the same story. “The fact he reached out meant a lot to me,” Robinson said. “He told me about their culture and what they’re all about and how much they prioritize shooting, and guys that come here that are shooters tend to have their best years. He mentioned Wayne Ellington and some other guys. It just excited me. I was pretty adamant I wanted to be part of this place, at least do summer league with them and see where the chips fell.” Robinson said he had a “handful” of offers, and he chose Miami over the Lakers and Bucks.
  • Kelly Olynyk has been loyal to Team Canada for years, but an upcoming contract decision could affect his availability for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in late June, notes Steven Loung of Sportsnet. Olynyk can opt out of his $12.2MM deal for next year and might be without a contract when the tournament begins. He would be risking an injury that could have a significant impact on his future earnings.

Heat Notes: Herro, Waiters, Winslow, Butler, Arena

Heat rookie Tyler Herro has impressed during his first five games with the franchise, scorching teams on the offensive end and displaying a level of maturity not typically seen in 19-year-old players.

Herro, the No. 13 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, has averaged 16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 32.2 minutes per contest thus far. He holds shooting marks of 45% from the floor and 36% from three-point range, starting in three of those five games. He’s slated to once again come off the bench against Houston on Sunday night.

“This is my first time [coming off the bench], but I’m willing to do whatever coach wants me to do,” Herro said, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “Whether it’s start or come off the bench — whatever is best for the team.

“I’ve never come off the bench, so as long as I’m playing my minutes — and however much coach thinks that should be. But as long as I’m playing my minutes that I’ve earned, then I’m good.”

Many league observers tabbed Herro as most likely to start at shooting guard for Miami this season, but the elevated play from fellow rookie Kendrick Nunn (22.4 PPG on 52% shooting) has kept Herro from receiving a solidified starting role.

The Heat have opened the 2019/20 season at 4-1, with their only loss coming on the road to Minnesota during the second half of a back-to-back.

There’s more out of Miami tonight:

  • Dion Waiters will be available to play for the Heat in their home game against the Rockets on Sunday, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Waiters was suspended by the team for their first game after expressing frustration over his lack of playing time in the preseason, with the 27-year-old being listed as out since then.
  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines whether a Justise WinslowJimmy Butler pairing will work for the team. Both Winslow and Butler share similar play styles, working hard on the defensive end while mostly operating inside the arc offensively.
  • TD Bank has had serious discussions with Miami-Dade County to acquire naming rights for the Heat’s arena, Jackson writes for the Miami Herald. One source labeled TD Bank as front-runners to acquire naming rights for the arena, according to Jackson, though another source cautioned that other companies still remain in the mix. American Airlines will not be pursuing a renewal of its 20-year contract for naming rights.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, I. Thomas, Herro, Magic

Hawks owner Tony Ressler has no regrets about trading Luka Doncic for Trae Young and would make the same decision again, relays Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Atlanta shook up the 2018 draft by agreeing to a deal that enabled Dallas to move up to No. 3 and select the eventual Rookie of the Year. The Hawks received Young, who also looks like a star after a slow start, along with a 2019 pick that was used to add Cam Reddish.

“I have to be honest, but I didn’t think Luka would be this good,” said Ressler, who admitted to being nervous about the gamble. “I didn’t think Trae was going to be this good. They are both better than I expected. I think they’re both really special players and have a shot to be for a really long time if they stay focused. I think this trade is going to have a nice, long history of discussion. I wouldn’t completely, again, declare success or whether we won it or lost it today because I do think both teams have someone they can really help build around for years and years to come.”

The Hawks are in the third step of the plan that Ressler developed to build a title contender after purchasing the team in 2015. Step one was a $200MM renovation to State Farm Arena. Next came a new management team with Travis Schlenk as general manager and Lloyd Pierce, who had experienced rebuilding with the Sixers, as head coach.

“The third step, we don’t know when and we want to do it intelligently, but is spending the money that it will take to add greatness to what we hope is existing greatness,” Ressler explained. “That is how you become a contender.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Isaiah Thomas had a promising debut with the Wizards Saturday night, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. After missing his first four shots, Thomas finished with 16 points, five assists and three rebounds in 20 minutes. The performance offered hope that he can become productive again after two injury-plagued seasons.
  • Years of early-morning workouts with his father helped prepare rookie Tyler Herro for the Heat culture, notes Lori Nickel of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. When Herro was taken with the 13th pick in this year’s draft, he was ready for Miami’s emphasis on fitness and hard work. “We say it all the time: We’re not for everyone. You have to be the right kind of player,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “So, for a young player you’re checking to see if there’s any kind of entitlement. And there’s zero with that kid. He has a whole lot to his game, because you can tell he’s put in a lot of hours and sweat equity behind the scenes when no one was watching. He’s extremely driven, very ambitious. We love that.”
  • Even though the Magic are coming off a playoff season, outside shooting remains an area of concern, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

Heat Place High Value On Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo

Miami had talks with the Thunder on at least two occasions this offseason, discussing Russell Westbrook – before OKC dealt him to Houston – and Chris Paul. Sean Deveney of Heavy.com hears that the Heat were reluctant to include Tyler Herro in that deal or any deals over the summer.

They’ve been firm on him and (Bam) Adebayo being untouchable,” one GM told Deveney. “Maybe they would move off of that as the season goes on, but as it stands, they think they’ve got the second coming of Klay Thompson offensively. They have not had a lot of useful guys on rookie contracts in past years and that’s killed their cap. They’ve got two now, they don’t want to let them go.”

Herro was the No. 13 overall pick in the 2019 draft. Adebayo, who is set to take over the team’s starting center spot, was the No. 14 overall pick in the 2017 draft. Both players give the franchise hope for the future and are long-term building blocks on a roster that has the necessary pieces to compete for the playoffs now.

Yet, in order for the Heat to take the next step toward title contention, they may have to acquire another established star (such as Bradley Beal). Miami will have trouble putting together a legit trade package worthy of one without including their young prospects since the team already owes a pair of first-round picks to Oklahoma City and can’t deal another first-rounder earlier than its 2025 pick.

Heat Notes: Reed, Herro, Beasley, Butler

Davon Reed will have a chance for stability for the first time in his NBA career when he competes for one of the Heat’s two-way slots in training camp, writes Shandel Richardson of The Athletic. A second-round pick by the Suns in 2017, Reed spent most of his rookie season in the G League, appearing in 21 games with Phoenix. Last year, the shooting guard signed a two-way contract with the Pacers and got into 10 NBA games.

Reed, who spent four years at the University of Miami, inked a training camp deal with the Heat last week and is looking forward to the opportunity with an organization that has seen past two-way players Duncan Robinson and Derrick Jones Jr. both earn standard contracts.

“I haven’t really been given a huge window, be it (due to) injuries or being released from Phoenix at the beginning of last season,” Reed said. “I kind of had to start over at a late time. The obstacles have been against me. I’m just taking everything in stride. I’m looking forward to being with this team and giving it my all, and (I hope to) have an immediate impact.”

There’s more this morning from Miami:

  • The addition of Jimmy Butler makes it less likely that rookie Tyler Herro will win a starting job right away in the Miami backcourt, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Butler moves the Heat into a win-now philosophy, meaning that Herro will have to work his way into a starting position. Winderman doesn’t expect him to start at all this season, unless the team is short-handed because of injuries.
  • Michael Beasley may be available again after Joe Johnson took his spot with the Pistons, but the Heat won’t bring him back, at least not right away, Winderman adds in the same column. Miami is hard-capped and the roster is virtually set after re-signing Udonis Haslem. If Beasley does return, it won’t happen before January.
  • Butler isn’t a superstar, but he gives team president Pat Riley someone to build the team around, observes Shaun Powell of NBA.com. Although Riley made a play for Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving this summer, he’ll be content with Butler after the Heat didn’t have an All-Star last season apart from Dwyane Wade, who was an honorary choice.

Southeast Notes: Winslow, Chalmers, Isaac, Wall

The Heat will need to use Justise Winslow at either point guard or power forward to optimize their other main wing options, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines in his latest mailbag. Putting Winslow at the ‘one’ or ‘four’ would allow coach Erik Spoelstra to play rookie Tyler Herro and Dion Waiters more often with the team’s top player, Jimmy Butler. If Winslow ends up playing regularly at small forward, Spoelstra would have to choose between Herro and Waiters as a mainstay in the rotation, Winderman adds.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • A reunion between the Heat and point guard Mario Chalmers is unlikely at this point, Winderman writes in another mailbag post. Chalmers, 33, is aiming for an NBA comeback after playing in Italy last season. However, even if the Heat are interested, they’d have to release Kendrick Nunn in order to create a roster spot for Chalmers since the team is hard-capped, Winderman notes.
  • Entering his third season, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac is brimming with optimism over his team’s future after it reached the playoffs last season. Isaac likes the team’s continuity after it re-signed key free agents Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, as he told John Denton of the team’s website. “We’re all hyped up for the season,’” he said. “And I’m sure as guys get together and start playing again, we’ll have more of those talks about, ‘Hey, we can go even farther than we did last (season).'”
  • The Wizards are closely monitoring John Wall‘s rehab process as he works his way back from a ruptured Achilles, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington reports. They are even providing owner Ted Leonsis with daily progress reports. “I used to start my day reading the Washington Post. Now I start my day reading [and watching] my daily John Wall exercise video,” Leonsis told Hughes.

Peers Choose Zion, Morant As Top Rookie Of Year Candidates

Top pick Zion Williamson of the Pelicans is considered the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award by his peers, but he’s not a clear-cut choice. The second pick in the draft, point guard Ja Morant of the Grizzlies, finished a close second in the voting. However, that might not be such a good thing for either player.

For the 11th time in 13 years, John Schuhmann of NBA.com got the opportunity to ask the NBA’s incoming crop of rookies a series of questions related to their fellow draftees.

Historically, the NBA rookies haven’t been soothsayers. They haven’t accurately identified a Rookie of the Year winner since Kevin Durant in 2007/08. Last season, Deandre Ayton and Collin Sexton were considered the co-favorites. Luka Doncic ended up winning the award with Trae Young finishing a solid second.

Here’s some of the highlights from the survey:

  • Williamson got 35% of the vote for the Rookie of the Year prize, while Morant received 27% backing. No one else got more than 5%.
  • Nuggets second-round pick Bol Bol and Cavaliers’ late first-rounder Kevin Porter Jr. were considered the steals of the draft, with each getting 19% of the vote.
  • Two players stood out to their peers as being the best defenders in the draft — the Sixers’ Matisse Thybulle and the Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter. Thybulle collected 37% of the votes in that category, while Hunter received 29% backing.
  • By a wide margin, Williamson was chosen as the most athletic rookie, garnering 87% of the votes. Morant was selected as the best ball-handler, receiving 40% of those votes.
  • The Heat‘s Tyler Herro (33%) edged out the Kings’ Kyle Guy (29%) as the best shooter.
  • LeBron James (38%) got the highest total in the ‘Favorite player in the league’ category with Kevin Durant (20%) finishing second.

Eastern Notes: Harris, Satoransky, Leonsis, Heat

Nets shooting guard Joe Harris could double his salary in free agency next summer, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Harris will make $7.67MM during the upcoming season and Scotto notes that veteran shooting guards received well above that figure in free agency this summer. Danny Green signed a two-year, $30MM deal with the Lakers while J.J. Redick got a two-year, $26.5MM contract with the Pelicans.

Harris might get even more, as Scotto points out that several other comparable shooting guards are making between $17.2MM and $20MM this season. The Nets hold Harris’ Bird Rights, giving them the inside track on signing him.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Tomas Satoransky‘s price tag became too much to bear for the Wizards in restricted free agency, as Fred Katz of The Athletic details. The Bulls offered him a three-year, $30MM contract and Washington felt that was too much for a player who’d be a backup once John Wall returned from his Achilles injury. A sign-and-trade was worked out that brought back a 2020 second-round pick and other considerations to Washington. Satoransky wasn’t disappointed. “I always felt like, for me, it was always harder than for others,” he said of his experience in Washington. “I had to always keep proving (myself) to people. And I always felt like, ‘Man, I’ve done enough to have that.’ So, I felt this needs a new start.”
  • Wizards managing partner Ted Leonsis will be more visible with a new front office structure in place, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “Our owners are going to be more involved,” Leonsis said. “You constantly have to gauge back and forth: is it good to be involved, or is it not good to be involved? Every agent, every player that I’ve talked to said the more they see Raul Fernandez and Laurene Powell-Jobs and me, the more connected they feel to what our vision and what our ultimate plan is.”
  • Any package that the Heat would send out in a potential Bradley Beal and Wall deal with the Wizards would need to include James Johnson, Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow and Kelly Olynyk for salary-matching purposes, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details. Trading for Beal alone would probably require the Heat to give up their three best assets, Bam Adebayo, Winslow and Tyler Herro, but they wouldn’t realistically be able to attach a draft pick until next June, Jackson adds.

Heat Notes: Herro, Paul, Robinson, Maten

Tyler Herro has been making a strong impression in Summer League, enough that Miami was reluctant to include him in trade talks for Russell Westbrook, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Herro, who signed his rookie contract earlier this week, was the 13th player taken in the draft. Known mostly as a scorer at Kentucky, Herro has displayed the potential to become a multi-dimensional talent.

A league source tells Jackson that Herro’s Summer League performance has surpassed the expectations of Heat officials, especially in 3-point shooting, passing and ball-handling. He posted a 19.5/4.3/3.8 line during the team’s stay in Las Vegas and shows signs of becoming a rotation player as a rookie.

“If we need a guy that can handle, get us into offense, if we need him to be pick-and-roll, if we need him to come off catch-and-shoots, he’s shown he can do it all, and we feel comfortable in any of those spots,” said Eric Glass, who coaches the Heat’s Summer League squad.

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Thunder’s offers in a potential Chris Paul trade haven’t been “enticing enough” to spark the Heat’s interest, Jackson tweets. Miami has been mentioned as the possible next destination for Paul, who is headed to Oklahoma City in a deal with Houston. Heat officials will continue to listen if the offers improve, Jackson adds, but they’re not actively pursuing the 34-year-old point guard.
  • Even though Miami’s Summer League season ended today with an overtime playoff loss, Duncan Robinson helped his quest to stay on the roster with a 26-point performance, Jackson notes in a separate story. The guarantee on Robinson’s salary for the upcoming season will jump from $250K to $1MM if he remains on the roster through Monday. Jackson states that it seems likely Robinson will be kept, but he hasn’t received any assurances. His full $1,416,852 salary won’t become guaranteed until the league-wide guarantee date of January 10.
  • Yante Maten and Kendrick Nunn also have non-guaranteed deals, and the Heat’s hard-capped status may work against them, Jackson adds. Miami is less than $1MM below its $138.9MM cap and can’t add any players, such as veteran free agent Udonis Haslem, without waiving someone first. Maten has a $100K guarantee that will rise to $150K if he is kept through August 1, then another $150K if he makes the opening-night roster. Nunn will also receive a $150K guarantee on August 1, rising to $450K if he’s still around for the first game.