Heat's Pat Riley on Tyler Herro: 'He’s a Core Player. That’s All There Is to It.'

Blake SchusterContributor IJune 4, 2021

Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

If there was ever any doubt about Tyler Herro's place with the Miami Heat after his up-and-down sophomore campaign, team president Pat Riley erased it during his end-of-season comments on Thursday. 

“He’s a core player," Riley said of Herro. "That’s all there is to it.”

The second-year guard out of Kentucky averaged 15.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in 2020-21, but his three-point shooting dipped from 38.9 percent in his rookie year to 36.0 percent. 

Despite Miami getting swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, Herro's status with the team hasn't changed. 

That doesn't mean Riley won't be looking to add to that core. 

After the way the Bucks dismantled Miami in their Eastern Conference first-round series—Milwaukee reserve Bryn Forbes had more points (60) than Jimmy Butler (58) in the four games—changes are coming. 

Victor Oladipo is an unrestricted free agent, and so are Trevor Ariza and Nemanja Bjelica. Andre Iguodala and Goran Dragic are signed through 2022—and that's not including the guys on expiring rookie deals. 

Riley was noncommittal on the team's plans for restricted free agents Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn, and he alluded to his desire to trade back into this year's draft. 

“I guarantee you we’ll probably get a couple of good players out of this draft, somehow." Riley said. 

The biggest thing the 76-year-old, who has been the team president since 1995, stressed is flexibility. That's going to be the key to adding a third star alongside Butler and Bam Adebayo, even if he admitted he hasn't begun discussions on an extension for the 31-year-old Butler, who's signed through 2023, just yet. 

"I like the nucleus of our team," RIley said. "We’ve got a great core with Jimmy and Bam. We didn’t make a mistake on those guys. ... Somewhere, you have to make a decision on the two or three players that you think are you franchise anchors."

Herro can rest easy this offseason knowing he's included in that core. 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.