Minnesota Timberwolves and OKC Thunder named as dark-horse destinations for Tyler Herro

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Tyler Herro reportedly could wind up with either of two dark-horse teams as the Miami Heat continue to try to concoct a trade that will land them Damian Lillard.

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves could play a role if the Heat and Portland Trail Blazers need another team to facilitate a deal for Lillard, who finally requested a trade from his longtime NBA home earlier this month.

Herro reportedly is the primary player Miami is willing to trade, but Portland so far has been unwilling to make him the centerpiece of a deal. The Trail Blazers reportedly are looking for a substantial return of players and draft picks, and the Heat reportedly want to hang on to as many of their remaining role players as possible.

Herro was Miami’s third-leading scorer during the regular season at 20.1 points per game before being injured in Miami’s first playoff game and missing the rest of the run to the NBA Finals. The 23-year-old has a four-year, $120 million contract that kicks in this season, which could be diminishing the Trail Blazers’ interest in him.

Herro reportedly is telling people he is expecting to be traded, with the Brooklyn Nets another possibility to join a deal involving multiple teams.

Miami this offseason already has lost Gabe Vincent to the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent, Max Strus to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a sign-and-trade and Victor Oladipo in a trade with the Thunder. Parting with Herro and possibly Kyle Lowry would leave them without five of their top eight scorers from last season.

However, that may be eased by bringing in a star player like Lillard, who averaged 32.2 points per game last season, his 11th with the Trail Blazers. A Big 3 of him, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo is likely to keep the Heat in championship contention at least for this season.

Miami still has to replenish its depth, with Goran Dragic a possibility if a reunion can be worked out. But until the situation with Herro and Lillard is resolved, the Heat are likely to remain in an uncomfortable holding pattern.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.