Heat’s Tyler Herro vs. Sixers’ Tyrese Maxey? ‘No-Brainer,’ NBA Execs Say

Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey (left) and Tyler Herro of the Miami Heat.

Getty Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey (left) and Tyler Herro of the Miami Heat.

Meadowlark media personality and Miami-area fixture Dan LeBatard created a stir earlier this week in a rant about the potential Damian Lillard-to-Miami trade, which has lingered without much movement for nearly three weeks now. Besides claiming that the Trail Blazers have “bought and paid for” ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, LeBatard also gave some insight into the negotiations between the Heat and Portland on a potential blockbuster.

The thrust of his point: There are no negotiations. Miami has offered guard Tyler Herro in a deal, and that’s the extent of what they’re willing to give up. The Heat can take this position, LeBatard said, because Portland is not going to get a better young player than Herro on the market.

“Herro’s the best one you’re going to get from anybody,” LeBatard said, then moving on to reference a potential offer from Philadelphia for guard Tyrese Maxey. “He’s better than Maxey. He’s the best you’re going to get. Lillard wants to be with us. This is the offer.”

While LeBatard is right about the Heat’s position on the deal, the Maxey-Herro assertion has drawn a good bit of attention, too, especially because LeBatard insisted that the only reason Herro gets little respect is because he is white.

“Herro’s better than Maxey, he’s just whiter than Maxey,” LeBatard said.

Execs Give Tyrese Maxey Edge Over Tyler Herro

I brought this notion to an Eastern Conference scouting executive, who chuckled. “Franz Wagner is as white as Herro, but I might take him over Herro,” he said. “I am not sure the logic there. NBA teams always get accused of overvaluing white guys. Now we’re penalizing them?”

The exec noted that the gap between Maxey and Herro is not a great one, and Herro has the advantage of being 6-foot-5 to Maxey’s 6-foot-2. The presence of James Harden forced Maxey to play more shooting guard, but he should be a point guard. Herro has done a lot more to show he can play both positions.

“I like Herro, I think everyone does,” the scout said. “But when you look at where these guys are gonna be in four or five years, you can see a lot more growth potential with Maxey. He is more of an attacker, he gets into the lane, he is a lot more efficient with his shot. And you know, in today’s game, efficiency is everything. So I mean, it’s a no-brainer in that respect.”

Indeed, both players cracked the 20-point barrier last year (Herro averaged 20.1 points and Maxey averaged 20.3). Herro did much more as a rebounder and passer (5.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, compared with 2.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists for Maxey) but Herro shot just 43.9% from the field and was solid at 37.8% from the 3-point line. Maxey was far better: 48.1% from the field and 43.4% from the 3-point line.

“They’re both problematic on defense, and when you get to the playoffs, that tends to show,” one Eastern Conference executive told Heavy. “I’d start there when it comes to that question. Last year (2022), Miami was a really tough defensive team when Herro was on the bench. Not having to worry about that when he was injured this spring, that probably helped them in the playoff run they had (to the NBA Finals). The difference is not as bad when you’re talking about Maxey. If you can get him guarding point guards, you’re OK. But it was tough with Harden on the floor because you have two guys to cover for.

“But, yeah, in the future, Maxey is going to be a better defender, when he gets back to his position. With Herro, I think there is more a feeling like, he can get better on the margins defensively but that is all. I don’t know how you’d compare them, but if there was an expansion draft, Maxey would go seven or eight picks above Herro. That might be the best way to say it.”

Maxey Not Yet Being Offered for Damian Lillard

Funny thing is, of course, that a Maxey vs. Herro debate is not really relevant to the Lillard talks. Portland does not want Herro because it is already loaded with young players in the backcourt — namely, 2023 No. 3 pick Scoot Henderson, 24-year-old Anfernee Simons and 20-year-old Shaedon Sharpe, the No. 7 pick in 2022.

For the same reason, the Blazers would have little interest in Maxey. But then, the Sixers have not offered up Maxey for Lillard anyway. The idea that Portland has its choice between Maxey or Herro is just not accurate. If it were, though …

“It’s the middle of summer. I guess that is why we talk about stuff like this,” one NBA source said. “But Portland wants picks, they want young guys who fit their roster, and they’d like to move off [Jusuf] Nurkic if they could. You can’t draft Scoot Henderson, trade away your franchise point guard and only bring back another point guard. That’s what Portland is struggling with, of course.

“But if you are just picking between the two, of course Maxey is better. Especially at that age [both are 23], I like to see a guy who has come along as a shooter, who has come along as a pick-and-roll guy and who has come along as a transition guy. And Maxey wins all three.”

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Karl King
Karl King
2 months ago

Nonsense, Herro is a better all around player. The defensive stuff is garbage, Heat switch everything so that is why you saw Gabe Vincent stuck on Jokic in the finals. ANy guard will have a lower defensive rating in Heat system. Maxey had Embiid who required a double or triple team, along with Harden, so of course Maxey had much more space than Herro did. Herro is a much better rebounder to.

2 months ago

Herro better than Maxey not a chance The Heat got away from not being swept in the in the finals because if they would have brought Hero back we would have gotten swept. It is common knowledge to the Fans that He does not have a Defense he do not even try if he do it is a an one. The Heat is has one of the strongest bench in the NBA but we have one of the weakest rotation in the league. You got to like a guy like Vincent he may not block the shot be it known it is no free lunch either you have to earn it. Maxey is still growing Herro is not and will not keep up with Maxey this season.

Just a statistic
Just a statistic
2 months ago

Maxey is better than Herro now and has even more upside. The guy is shooting almost 44% from 3 point range alone and can attack the rim with speed. His defense isn’t great, but is getting better particularly with keeping his guy in front of him. Much rather have another athletic bomber like Lavine in the backcourt instead of Harden and switch Maxey back to point. I think you get better movement all around that way vs Harden iso ball.

joe shilts
joe shilts
1 month ago

How Stupid Blazers just drafted Scoot Henderson!