For better or worse, the speculation of Damian Lillard to the Miami Heat has drawn some of the most absurd, opposing takes from rival fans and media. Still, many paint the pairing as inevitable due to the point guard’s voiced desires. But what happens if the deal does not come together for Miami or if it drags along? More specific to the relationship between Tyler Herro and the Heat.
For context, Herro had been painted as one of the Heat’s cornerstones well before Pat Riley decided to volunteer positive thoughts about his shooting guard before trying to move him. It was the worst kept secret. An instance of propping Herro up in case a market opened to use him as the team’s best available asset. And rightfully so when a league-shifting talent like Lillard wants to shake loose.
Problem is that Herro’s name is now being tossed around like breadcrumbs to a pigeon. Both teams and media, alike, are treating him as if he is unwanted goods.
Reports are that the Portland Trail Blazers would not desire him because they believe Shaedon Sharpe, Scoot Henderson and Anfernee Simons would deem Herro’s skillset redundant. The Brooklyn Nets would apparently welcome Herro but would want to be compensated for receiving a player who averaged 23.5 points per game against them in two matchups last season.
Will the treatment Tyler Herro is receiving force the Miami Heat to do damage control if he is not moved for Damian Lillard?
One the media end, everyone from NBA TV to ESPN has spent time telling the audience how insignificant a Herro package would be compared to that of an offer for an injured older player like Boston’s Malcom Brogdon or a player with similar statistics in Philadelphia’s Tyrese Maxey.
This coming from the same media who lauded Herro from his play, style of dress, bubble faces and Sixth Man of the Year accolades. They even routinely marked him as the missing piece during Miami’s most recent NBA Finals run. However, suddenly he is not good enough to be another team’s rebuilding piece and his four-year $120 million extension is an albatross not worth touching.
All of this can be a blow to the ego of a player who portrays the epitome of confidence. Especially after three summers of being dangled by the franchise who once believed to the point of investing a draft pick and money into. That is a harsh reality of the business. The Heat are doing nothing wrong, but if Lillard does not land in Miami or discussions last into training camp, things could get very uncomfortable on Biscayne Bay.
Herro has already erased the team from his Twitter bio, in anticipation of being moved, but is the relationship salvageable if all else fails? Or are the Heat stuck in a situation where the 23-year-old must be moved regardless.
Miami is playing a dangerous, but necessary game, to up their championship odds. One where risking a few hurt feelings is better than Jimmy Butler having to shoulder the load. Sorry Tyler.