Heat’s Tyler Herro Given Oddly Specific Distinction by Longtime NBA Pundit

Tyler Herro Heat-Rockets

Getty Miami Heat star Tyler Herro handles the ball during a game against the Houston Rockets.

Tyler Herro is in the midst of a career season with the Miami Heat, but his effort during Thursday’s loss to the New York Knicks was one of his best showings in a hot minute. In 40 minutes of action, Herro scored 25 points, drilled four three-point bombs and added eight assists, five rebounds, a block and a steal.

It was just the latest instance of Herro proving himself to be something beyond the bench sparkplug he was in 2021-22, as if anyone still doubted him. Indeed, the 23-year-old is over 20 points per game once again this season. And despite the uptick in minutes, he’s rocking a career-best effective field-goal percentage of 52.8.

Herro’s season has been so good, in fact, that The Ringer’s Bill Simmons just namechecked him as the absolute best among an oddly specific subset of NBA players in his latest trade rankings.

Bill Simmons: Heat’s Tyler Herro Is ‘Best American White Guy’

On Friday, Simmons dropped the latest edition of his trade value rankings. As ever, the hoops guru formulated his list based on players’ perceived value as trade assets (as opposed to slotting them based on their skill sets and/or position in the league hierarchy).

With that in mind, Herro made the list in the “Quality Starters” category with a ranking of No. 55 overall. In doing so, the Heat sharpshooter was given an award of sorts in Simmons’ write-up:

“Cruising to his second straight Mokeski Award for our best American White Guy. He’s only eight trophies away from Larry Legend.) I love that Herro rebounds — almost six a game this season. Might have a 25-7-5 / 45-40-85% season in him some day. He’s only 23.”

There was one caveat to Simmons’ Herro appreciation, however.

“For a $120 million extension, I kinda want him to be able to defend a little. Call me nuts. Regardless, for Tyler Herro…the action IS the juice.”

As it stands, Herro is rocking a defensive rating of 110.8, which is pretty average in the modern NBA. When he’s off the court, though, the Heat have been 2.3 points per 100 possessions better (with a D-rating of 108.5).

Still, it’s worth noting that Herro’s defensive real plus/minus score of 2.06 places him eighth league-wide among point guards and 10th among shooting guards. Herro’s defensive box plus/minus score has also improved every year that he’s been in the league (he’s almost even for the first time this season at minus-0.1).

Bam Adebayo & Jimmy Butler Land in the Top 20

Heat stars Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler could be found much closer to the top of tSimmons’ trade value rankings list. More specifically, they landed among a group of players in the top 25 who Simmons sees as being almost untouchable.

For his part, Adebayo was 19th, garnering the following write-up from Simmons:

Is there one more level in him? He’s already one of the best 25 guys in the league. Should we still be pleasantly surprised if/when he takes over a game? He’s 25, in the same age range as Tatum, Mitchell, SGA, Jaylen, and a few others. Will Miami ever be able to run an offense through him? Could we see a Sabonis-level bump if they tweaked a few things? Or is he just a 20-10 guy with superb defense and that’s that? These are nitpicks, but we’re in the top 20 now—how good can Bam ultimately be? Is this it? And have we spent enough time enjoying the fact that his name is “Bam”?

Butler, meanwhile, was 17th:

Let’s see … a truly intimidating contract ($184 million through 2025-26), a whiff older than you’d think (34 in September), less durability than you’d want (he’s missed at least 14 games in nine of the last 10 seasons), less exciting numbers than you’d probably expect (22-6-5 with no 3s and lots of FTs, basically) and there might be four other franchises total that can handle him, much less trade for him. (Hold on, big “With that said” coming up.) WITH THAT SAID … would you want to see Jimmy in a playoff series? Me neither.

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