The Miami Heat are the unofficial winners of the NBA offseason, landing Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, and Markieff Morris in free agency, but the team also made major decisions with high-profile players returning for next season.
On September 3, the Heat’s future plan with the young “Boy Wonder” that is Tyler Herro was revealed by Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.
The latest Heat news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Heat newsletter here!
“The Heat have exercised their fourth-year rookie-scale option on Tyler Herro,” Winderman tweeted, which will not come as surprise to anyone. Heat president Pat Riley has vouched for the 21-year-old guard, calling him a “core player for us” during his postseason press conference.
By exercising his fourth-year option, they get to keep Herro through next season and on a budget.
The Heat has exercised the $5.7 million fourth-year option on Tyler Herro’s rookie-scale contract for 2022-23,” Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang tweeted.
After the 2022-23 season, depending on his performance, Herro will be eligible for a massive pay raise. All-Star Bam Adebayo was on a similar rookie contract deal before receiving a five-year, $163 extension from the Heat last year.
Herro’s Name Continues to Pop Up During Any Possible Trade Talks
Despite having Riley’s vote of confidence, Bleacher Report‘s Grant Hughes dubbed Herro as the Heat’s “most likely player to get traded this summer, which as we know, didn’t happen.
Being mentioned in trade reports is nothing new for the Kentucky alum. His name bounced around in numerous reports prior to the March 25 trade deadline, and again during the offseason, considering he was one of only five Heat players contractually signed to return for the 2021-22 NBA season.
While making an appearance at the Jr. Heat Summer Camp at the FTX Arena on July 21, Herro spoke to Chiang about the ongoing trade reports and rumors.
Herro said, “I’m done listening to all that, honestly,” Chiang tweeted. “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. I’m focused on getting better, getting this team better.”
Herro’s ‘Off-Court Habits’ Was a Concern Last Season
The reason Herro has emerged as the Heat’s best trade piece is not because of the 6-foot-5 guard’s performance this past season, he finished the year averaging 15 points and five rebounds per game, but because of what the 21-year-old displayed during his rookie year.
“Herro is the one with the 2020 Finals breakout on his resume and name recognition to anchor a high-profile trade,” Hughes wrote. “And if we know anything about the ambitious Heat, it’s that they tend to favor trades of that ilk. The concerns about Herro’s off-court habits could factor into the Heat’s willingness to deal as well.”
Those “off-court habits” Hughes mentions are a reference to how despite Herro’s sophomore slump, his celebrity status has continued to rise. On April 19, Five Reasons Sports Network’s Ethan Skolnick and South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman reported that his undue star status has become a major concern for the Heat on their Inside the Paint podcast.
Herro’s marketability, however, could be absolutely clutch for a struggling team needing a media boost. Hughes wrote, “Other franchises will talk themselves into Herro’s game and personality. Teams that aren’t winning could use his floor-raising offense and box-office marketability. Moxie sells, and Herro has plenty of that.”
However, in late August, Skolnick clarified what he meant about Herro’s “off-court” habits, saying that Miami wasn’t as worried about what he was doing off the court as they were about what he wasn’t doing. They wanted Herro in the weight room committed to getting physically stronger.
“I think when we talked about focus, people started thinking about the off-court stuff and it wasn’t really that,” Skolnick said. “They wanted him to commit to the work on his body, more so than anything else. I don’t think there is a question whether he is a gym rat or not but they wanted him to get physically stronger. He looks physically stronger.”