Report: Miami Heat hoping to keep key player out of Lillard trade talks

Tyler Herro #14 and Caleb Martin #16 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Tyler Herro #14 and Caleb Martin #16 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

With the start of NBA training camp a little more than a month away, the Miami Heat are hoping to land their top offseason trade target as soon as possible. Thus far, the Portland Trail Blazers have been hesitant to trade their star Damian Lillard to the Heat, due to their apparent lack of assets. Now comes a report that the Heat are hoping to keep guard Tyler Herro out of trade talks with the Blazers.

That is a surprising development since it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that he wasn’t returning to the Heat next season. Despite that, trying to keep Herro does make sense. While he and Lillard would make for a questionable starting backcourt pairing given their lack of defense, they would give Miami plenty of offense.

Herro’s game has been maligned of late, but as a fourth option, he would be dangerous and far more valuable than the first-round pick he could fetch as a part of a Lillard trade. Aside from the potential benefits, there are some issues with Miami’s reported plan to try and retain him.

There are pros and cons to the Miami Heat keeping Tyler Herro.

Portland already seems unimpressed by Miami’s offers, which could include three first-round picks, two pick swaps, and two recent first-round selections. Although the Blazers appear uninterested in taking back to Herro, he could be dealt to a third team, giving them four picks in return for their best player.

Also, from the Heat’s perspective, combining Lillard and his massive contract with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo’s deals would make them among the highest-paid trios in the NBA. Add in that Herro is set to begin a 4-year, $130 million contract, and Miami would be one of the most expensive teams in NBA history.

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There are obviously pros and cons to the plan, but if Miami believes that they would be selling low on Herro, then it makes sense for them to push back on trading him. Even still, if it becomes clear that they cannot hold onto him and acquire Lillard, then they likely wouldn’t hesitate to move him.