Tyler Herro’s future with the Miami Heat was very much in doubt all offseason thanks to multiple trade rumors, but it turns out the Heat reportedly did value the 23-year-old when they thought about possibly acquiring Bradley Beal in exchange for him.
“They didn’t really go for Bradley Beal,” said NBA insider Zach Lowe. “I think that was a vote of confidence in Tyler Herro. I think, from what I heard, the Heat looked at that situation and said, ‘We don’t think Bradley Beal, who’s…seven years older than Tyler Herro, is $30 million better than Tyler Herro going forward. We just don’t think the upgrade is worth it.'”
A rumored possible target of the Heat early in the offseason, Beal was ultimately traded by the Washington Wizards to the Phoenix Suns. Days after that, Damian Lillard requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, and Miami’s pursuit of the point guard began, with Herro reportedly the centerpiece of the Heat’s offers.
That possible transaction didn’t work out for the Heat either, with the Trail Blazers sending the All-Star to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a three-team trade that coincidentally included the Suns. Throughout much of the offseason, Miami was thought to be Lillard’s ultimate destination, and Herro was thought to inevitably be on his way elsewhere.
That turned out not to be the case, and now, the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year will be counted on for a big role as he begins the first season of a four-year contract extension that is worth an average of $30 million annually. For comparison, the 30-year-old Beal is set to average almost $52 million per year over the next four seasons (if he picks up his player option for the 2026-27 campaign).
The 33-year-old Lillard is under contract for at least three more seasons, a span during which he’ll earn more than $152 million.
Herro is coming off a season when he averaged 20.1 points per game but went on the shelf due to a hand injury he suffered in the first game of Miami’s playoff run. The Heat eventually reached the 2023 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Denver Nuggets. Herro recently said he is happy he’s not in Portland and is motivated for the 2023-24 NBA season.
In some cases, the best trades are the ones a team doesn’t make, and if Herro can make major contributions during a successful run of Heat seasons, that could work out to be the case in this instance.