Talk about a humbling offseason. Heck, even before that, it was a humbling finish to the 2022-23 season in general.
That’s because not only did Heat wing Tyler Herro watch Miami flourish in the playoffs after he got hurt in the postseason opener, but he then spent the summer being put through the wringer of the NBA’s trade-rumor mill. And no one was more prominent on it than Herro.
Sure, the guy who was the trade headliner this summer, All-Star guard Damian Lillard, got the bulk of the attention. But it was Herro who was at the center of all Heat-Blazers talks, as limited as they were. The Heat were willing to give up Herro and two draft picks for Lillard, but were not budging off that package.
The Blazers, it was frequently reported, had no interest in Herro. No matter how the Heat attempted to push him, Portland did not want him. And as the Heat poked around the trade market for a third team that had interest in Herro, they found limited interest there, too.
Not an easy summer, then, for the 23-year-old.
“There was a little bit of frustration,” Herro said Monday during media day, via the Miami Herald. “But at the end of the day, it’s a business. I understand that. I would just like some clarity. I feel like I’ve gained enough respect around here to know what’s going on a little bit, whether my name is involved or not. That’s really it. I want to be involved. I feel like I gained the respect and I put the work in.”
Tyler Herro Still Bitter?
While Herro vowed to move on from the summer of trade talks, he does appear to be holding on to at least a sliver of bitterness, and perhaps with good reason. He posted star-level numbers last year, with 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists, and at least had tried to improve in all the ways the Heat had asked of him.
But when it came down to it, he was not much involved in the conversations the Heat were having about him, and his connection with the team appeared to be severed.
Herro cut out the Miami Heat from his social media bios during the summer, which was viewed as a sign that a trade was nigh. That was not quite true, though. Herro explained he had removed those references during last season, well before the Lillard talk hit high gear.
“I removed that about a month before anyone picked up on it. That was funny to me,” Herro said.
‘I Just Want to Play Where I’m Wanted’
In the end, Herro is coming back to the Heat a bit wiser and perhaps still with a chip on his shoulder. What matters to him, he realized, was not just playing well but also being appreciated by his employer. It is not the first time he was dangled in blockbuster trade talks, but when it happened earlier in his career, he was not quite the established scorer he is now.
To have all this go down now, with Herro heading into his fifth NBA season, stings a little extra.
“This one felt a little more real than any of the other trade rumors in the past,” Herro said. “But it’s part of the business. At this point in my career, I’m really just wanting to play wherever I’m wanted. Whether that’s here or somewhere else, I don’t care. I just want to play where I’m wanted and I want to be wanted and that’s really it.
“I don’t think I’m not wanted here. There’s a great player who was on the market at the time. Whatever happens happened and we’re now in this situation. I’m excited to be back and ready to play. Like I said, I’ll play here or somewhere else. It doesn’t matter to me.”