The 2021-22 NBA season tips off in less than a week, however, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still time for teams to shake up their roster. And once again, the proposed trades concerning the Miami Heat center around guard Tyler Herro.
Bleacher Report‘s Zach Buckley urges the New Orleans Pelicans to make a trade with the Heat in order to obtain Herro, which could create a solid up-and-coming power duo of the 21-year-old guard and their franchise superstar, Zion Williamson.
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“The Pelicans should focus all of their energy on giving Zion Williamson reasons to stay in the Crescent City long term,” Buckley wrote. “Beyond Brandon Ingram, this roster simply doesn’t have enough of them.”
As for Herro and Williamson, “Their skill sets align like pieces from the same puzzle,” Buckley continued. “Each has the off-the-dribble game to put a gravitational pull on defenders, and both can add value away from the basketball: Herro as a knock-down shooter, Williamson as an explosive roller to the rim.”
In exchange for Herro, Buckley suggests that Pelicans send over Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Herbert Jones, 2022 first-round pick (via the Los Angeles Lakers), and 2022 second-round pick (via the Cleveland Cavaliers).
Would Miami Give Up Herro to Pick-Up Future Trade Pieces?
Both Heat president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra have gone out of their way to say that the young “Boy Wonder” is an integral part of the team’s core, and following his stellar preseason performances, it seems highly unlikely they’d trade Herro before his value skyrockets.
However, Buckley believes that 2019 first-rounder Alexander-Walker and Jones, who the Pelicans drafted in the second round of the 2021 draft, along with a first and second-round pick next season, is close to “a premium return” for Herro.
“Alexander-Walker shines as both a shot creator and a scorer, and he brings more defensively than Herro. Speaking of defense, Jones enters his rookie season showing signs he’ll play it at a level Erik Spoelstra will love. Finally, the Heat gain a pair of picks to either restock the cupboards or facilitate another deal down the line.”
After the Heat went all in to acquire six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry, along with veterans Markieff Morris, and P.J. Tucker, it will greatly depend on how this upcoming season goes before the Heat consider trading away one of their top young talents.
Herro Will Be Eligible for a Massive Pay Raise In 2 Years
Last month, the Heat exercised the $5.7 million fourth-year option on Herro’s rookie-scale contract for the 2022-23 season. After the 2022-23 season, depending on his performance, Herro will be eligible for a massive pay raise. Heat All-Star Bam Adebayo was on a similar rookie contract deal before receiving a five-year, $163 extension from the Heat last year.
The former 13th overall pick was the first player from the 2019 NBA Draft class to have his option picked up. If the Heat chose not to pick up the 6-foot-5 guard’s option, Herro would’ve become a free agent after the close of the 2021-22 NBA season.