On the surface, the fallout from the Miami Heat’s lost pursuit of Damian Lillard simply settled around Tyler Herro’s feelings and Jimmy Butler’s clock. However, the undercurrent not initially discussed was the repercussions on the point guard position.
The first week of Heat training camp saw a range of emotions from their incumbent point guard, Kyle Lowry. He went from not speaking to the media to expressing his expectations of being in Miami’s starting lineup. Although others presumed the 18-year-old veteran would return to his backup role at the end of last season or eventually be moved, the evidence was in all the questions and comments.
Lowry let it be known that he and coach Erik Spoelstra had yet to broach the topic of starting, while Herro, Spoelstra, and Bam Adebayo have all dropped the names of Herro, Josh Richardson, Dru Smith, Caleb Martin, Jimmy Butler, and Adebayo as potential ball-handling substitutes.
The multitude of name drops gave the impression of possibly relying on a hybrid lead guard situation similar to what the Phoenix Suns have been suggesting with Bradley Beal and Devin Booker. Moving away from the traditional floor general type and leaning more towards the Spoelstra-coined position-less basketball
Could this mean seeing Adebayo in even more of a de facto point-center position? Which would mean having to find the perfect balance between making the offense flow and maintaining the personal aggression that makes him break out. The same goes for anyone on the roster trying to gain a dual role at the position.
Is there a clear-cut solution to the progression of the Miami Heat point guard situation?
Unfortunately, Herro is not the long-term answer at this point for the Heat. While Herro’s ball handling has improved, he has never feared the best when going against elite pressure. And although his turnovers per game dropped from 2.6 to 2.4—after gradually climbing during his first three seasons—Herro accounted for 25.2 percent of the team’s turnovers throughout their 2022–23 campaign.
The reluctance to fully hand over the keys to Herro was evident in Spoelstra’s comments about not immediately listing him as the point guard but putting the ball in his hands where he could be efficient and effective.
This situation leaves Miami in a predicament that could legitimately yield positive or negative results. In the best-case scenario, the Heat can develop something at point guard and package Lowry for another piece that could help the team. In the worst-case scenario, Lowry must stick around for a while before any moves are made, and the contentious feelings of the last two offseasons begin to boil over.
The Miami Heat had a disappointing offseason after failing to add a star but that could ultimately lead to their next super team.
Of course, there is always the option of Lowry and Miami making things work, but all signs point to a marriage destined to go their separate ways.