Insider Reveals BTS Detail Regarding Heat’s Pursuit for Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant, Tyler Herro

Getty NBA Insider's behind-the-scenes look at the situation with Tyler Herro (R) amid the Heat's aggressive pursuit of Nets' superstar Kevin Durant (L).

The Miami Heat‘s aggressive pursuit to land Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant is well-known across the league, so unless the team’s biggest trade pieces don’t have Internet, these players are keenly aware that they may be suiting up in a different jersey very soon.

Based on the limited assets the Heat would be able to offer the Nets, nearly every proposed trade offer is centered around Tyler Herro, the NBA’s 2022 Sixth Man of the Year award winner.

Further complicating matters between Miami and Herro, the Heat have until October 18 to offer the 22-year-old guard an extension, and he’s looking to get the max. But Miami won’t move on an extension for Herro until they get clarity on the Durant situation.

The latest Heat news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Heat newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Heat!

If the Heat doesn’t offer Herro an extension by the deadline, he’ll become a restricted free agent once the season ends. As it stands, Herro is locked in for the year with a salary of $5.7 million. If Miami offers him a massive rookie extension, a deal that could pay him somewhere around $25 million a year, “the Heat effectively would be unable to trade him until the 2023 offseason,” Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman reported on Monday, July 18.

Offering Herro a near-max extension that would kick in at the start of the 2023-24 NBA season would be considered a “poison pill” for future trades, as interested teams without cap space for Herro’s pay raise will effectively be out.

Between being the team’s obvious trade piece, and the Heat prioritizing catching Durant in a blockbuster, it’s easy to assume that there’s some heavy tension between the Heat and Herro this offseason.

However, Winderman also noted on Monday that the Kentucky alum looked at ease while visiting the team in Las Vegas. “Based on Herro’s interactions with coach Erik Spoelstra and Heat teammates at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League a week ago, there certainly does not appear to be any bad blood or tension, even as his extension clock ticks.”

Perhaps, the Heat informed Herro a massive pay raise was guaranteed regardless of how the Durant sweepstakes shake out, or maybe the young guard is excited about the possibility of taking his talents to Brooklyn. Whatever the reason, it appears the Heat are making sure Herro remains happy and confident throughout this rollercoaster offseason.

It Seems Unlikley Herro Receives the Full Max

Tyler Herro

GettyTyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat reacts in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 21, 2022.

While Herro put up incredible performances during the regular season, averaging 20.7 points per game while shooting 40% from beyond the arc. However, Herro struggled through the playoffs for the second postseason in a row, averaging 12.6 points per game while hitting just 22.9% on threes.

The former No. 13 overall pick from the 2019 NBA Draft missed three games during the Heat’s Eastern Conference Finals series against the Boston Celtics due to a groin injury. He attempted to come back in Game 7, playing just seven minutes, recording zero points, one assist, and one block.

Despite this, Herro remains one of the most exciting up and comers in the league, and is eligible for a contract extension “worth as much as $181 million over five seasons, with a first-year salary (2023-24) of $31 million,” per Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. However, it’s highly unlikely he receives the full amount. Based on the current market, NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin wrote that $25 million a season “seems about right.”

The Heat Are Urged to Trade for Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell Instead of Durant

While the Heat remains focused on Durant, ESPN’s NBA Insider Kevin Pelton recently urged Miami to dedicate all their time and energy to landing Utah Jazz’s three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell instead.

Unfortunately for Herro, even if the Heat does switch gears to focus on Mitchell, he is still the cornerstone player in any proposed trade package Miami would have to offer the Jazz.

“Durant turns 34 in September, which puts him in the same range as Miami starters Jimmy Butler (33 in September) and Kyle Lowry (36),” Pelton wrote. “By contrast, the 25-year-old Mitchell would reset the Heat’s timeline and align it with 24-year-old center Bam Adebayo. And if Miami doesn’t think the Nets will ultimately trade Durant, this might be its best chance to land a third star while [Jimmy] Butler is in his late prime.”

Despite his age, however, Durant remains one of the best players in the NBA. Last season, the 6-foot-10 forward averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game, while shooting 51.8% from the field and 38.3% from beyond the arc.

As for Mitchell, he averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game last season.

READ NEXT: Photos & Video of Heat All-Star’s Body Transformation Go Viral

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments