‘Ego’ Could Keep Tyler Herro From Miami Heat Role Change: Insider

Tyler Herro, Miami Heat

Getty Tyler Herro, Miami Heat

We’re not far from the return of Miami Heat star Tyler Herro, but there remains some question about how, exactly, that will look. Coach Erik Spoelstra could drop Herro into the starting five and move Duncan Robinson back to the bench, but it might not be all that simple for the team’s rotation.

Herro has been a sixth man before. It was his role with the Heat in his first three seasons in the NBA, and he did not become a full-time regular starter until last season. Is there a chance he could return to a bench role when he comes back from the ankle injury that has kept him out since early November?

That was the question put to Heat insider Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel in his mailbag this week, as Herro prepares to return from the injury on Monday or Wednesday, as Spoelstra said. The Herro situation was compared to that of Austin Reaves with the Lakers, after Reaves was moved back to the bench following his struggles to start the season.

“They consider all possibilities,” Winderman wrote. “But Austin Reaves entered the NBA in 2021 as an undrafted player; Tyler Herro entered two years earlier as a lottery pick. So say what you want about those factors, but ego matters in the NBA. And Tyler likely believes he has moved beyond bench consideration.”

Duncan Robinson Has Thrived as a Miami Heat Starter

There would be ample reason for Spoelstra to consider Herro off the bench. The Heat have played well in his absence, and Robinson has, especially, thrived as a starter. Spoelstra has complimented the way he works with star wing Jimmy Butler. And the numbers are what they are: Robinson averages 16.4 points and 46.2% 3-point shooting as a starter, and 11.4 points and 37.7% shooting as a reserve.

Why upset that apple cart?

Of course, the situation with Tyler Herro and the Miami Heat is a bit more delicate than that, and that is surely a factor here. Remember, Herro was not happy that his name was repeatedly brought up in trade rumors for Damian Lillard this summer, and his ego took enough of a bruising from the fact that no other teams around the NBA seemed to want him in a trade.

That could be enough to warrant handling his return with kid gloves. Robinson expected to be a bench player this year, and it could be easier to just put him back into that spot.

Could Tyler Herro Be Sold on Temporary Bench Move?

Still, there is the question of what is best for the team, and no matter how offended Herro might be about coming off the bench, it is likely the best thing for Spoelstra to do, at least in the short term. From there, well, see how it goes.

That was a scenario that Winderman outlined in his answer. If Spoelstra presents it as a temporary way to ease Herro back into the rotation, it might go down a bit easier.

“All of that said, perhaps the approach could be casting it as playing Tyler Herro off the bench as a means of easing him back,” Winderman wrote. “Then, if it works, or if he finds momentum in such a role, perhaps the Heat could take such consideration to the next step.

“But, no, I don’t expect another season of Tyler as sixth man.”



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