NBA scout says Tyler Herro is a ‘complete liability’ on defense and nowhere near ‘bubble Tyler Herro’

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Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

At least one NBA scout isn’t sold on the idea that Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro is a complete player.

While talking to NBA insider Chris Mannix, the scout called Herro a “complete liability on defense.”

That’s an area of the floor where the 23-year-old has struggled at times in the NBA, though some feel that he has improved.

The scout explained that at one point — more specifically, during the NBA bubble — Herro’s defense didn’t matter because of his offensive contributions. That’s no longer the case, in this individual’s eyes.

“Tyler Herro is a very good scorer that can play in pick-and-roll and a complete liability on defense,” the scout said. “The Tyler Herro where it doesn’t matter how he plays defense was the bubble Tyler Herro. Remember him? That’s the Tyler Herro where it was like, ‘Who gives a s— how he plays defense?’ We haven’t seen that guy because he’s not scoring at that clip, he’s not shooting at that clip. I remember watching that guy and thinking ‘This guy’s a franchise guard.’ They just dismantled Boston. But overall he’s been nowhere near that guy. He can really score but he doesn’t give you too much other stuff. He helps them play a style that they want to play and if they end up keeping him I think that he’ll still be a pain in the ass. You will have to chase him around and they’ll utilize him and it’ll be fine.”

Across 29 games in the bubble (regular season and playoffs), Herro averaged 16.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from beyond the arc. He helped the Heat reach the NBA Finals, where they lost in six games to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Herro has had some strong offensive seasons outside of the bubble, including in each of the past two seasons, where he’s averaged over 20 points per game. But the scout evidently thinks that Herro has been a different player since the bubble season ended, which is an idea the former Sixth Man of the Year will look to put to rest in the upcoming campaign.

The University of Kentucky product has been on the receiving end of lots of criticism during his NBA career, and the scout’s comments represent some of the latest. But if he catches wind of the scout’s take, he likely won’t be heartbroken.

“I don’t like hearing good things about me anyway,” he told The Athletic recently. “I like when people say I can’t do something. It just puts more fuel on the fire.”

After a quiet offseason, the Heat may need the former lottery pick to take a step forward this season if they want to get closer to the promised land. Internal growth will be key for the organization in the 2023-24 campaign.

Herro, who became a full-time starter last season, has no shortage of motivation to have a big year, which is just one of many reasons why he’ll be a fascinating player to watch when the new NBA season begins.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.