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Heat's Tyler Herro Says He's Better Than Some NBA Players Who Received New Contracts

Adam WellsSeptember 29, 2022

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 29: Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat warms up prior to Game Seven against the Boston Celtics in the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 29, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images

Just over two weeks before the deadline for him to receive a contract extension, Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro believes he's been better than other players who have signed new deals.

Speaking to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel about his contract talks with the Heat, Herro said there are "players across the league that have gotten paid who I know I’m better than."

Herro's career arc has been fascinating. He was the No. 13 overall pick by the Heat in the 2019 NBA draft.

Four of the top five picks from the same draft class (Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, RJ Barrett and Darius Garland) have signed extensions with their teams. It's hard to argue Herro has been better than any of those players, though he has at least been available more than Williamson has been for the New Orleans Pelicans.

During Miami's run to the Finals in the bubble, Herro appeared to establish himself as a core piece of the roster. He averaged 16.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game with a 37.5 three-point percentage in 21 playoff games.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra tried to expand his role in 2020-21 by putting him the starting lineup to open the season. The University of Kentucky alum struggled in the role, connecting on just 32.5 percent of his three-pointers despite averaging 17.2 points per game in 14 starts.

Spoelstra moved Herro back to being the sixth man for the rest of the season, and his efficiency improved (37.3 three-point percentage).

Last season saw Herro continue to play primarily off the bench. He averaged career-highs in minutes (32.6), scoring (20.7) and assists (4.0) in 66 appearances.

While the offensive numbers have never been a problem for Herro, his defensive ability has become a concern for the Heat. Team president Pat Riley publicly questioned the 22-year-old for his limitations as a defender after Miami's loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

"I think we’re seeing this in the league, if you want to win a championship, and you want to be a starter, you really have to become a two-way player today," Riley told reporters on June 8.

Herro has made it clear he wants to be a starter going into the 2022-23 season. He also said during Wednesday's press conference he hopes to stay in Miami, but "it’s got to make sense for my family."

As recently as August, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported there was "simply is no urgency" from the Heat to sign Herro because they might want to keep their ability to move him before the trade deadline in February.

Players who sign new deals are ineligible to be traded for six months. Herro will earn $5.7 million this season, the final year of his rookie contract.

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