Opinion

Five Reasons the Miami Heat Should Trade Tyler Herro

Tyler Herro
Tyler Herro Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
Gather around, Miami Heat fans. It's time to have an uncomfortable and difficult discussion about a pressing matter at hand, and it's one that is guaranteed to split the fanbase down the middle. Yes, it's time to run through the reasons why the Miami Heat should trade Tyler Herro this offseason.

Yeah, we said it. Not because he's bad at basketball, but because it likely makes the most sense for the Heat to win a championship with their current roster. We'll explain more below.

Here are five reasons the Miami Heat should trade Tyler Herro.

Salary Cap Concerns

Tyler Herro is a very nice player. He was Sixth Man of the Year in 2022, and there is no disputing he makes the Miami Heat a better team. Things get dicey when deciding how nice a player Herro is, because the days of Herro making minuscule money are coming to an end.

Herro will earn $5.7 million this upcoming season in the final year of his rookie deal, but he's eligible to sign a contract extension worth as much as $181 million over five seasons, including a first-year salary of $31.2 million. That's no longer bench-player money, regardless of how good he is. That's money you give to a core starter.

With massive money tied up in Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry over the next few seasons, the Heat will need to be frugal elsewhere if they're not acquiring a star. Is Herro worth $30 to 40 million a year?

Not at 22 years old. By extending his contract, though, the Heat would be betting he will be down the line. That's risky business.

Trade Chip

When it comes to trading for a superstar in the NBA, you normally have to give something up to get something. The Heat have pulled off some incredible trades over the years — including the acquisition of Jimmy Butler for a bucket of nickels — but a trade for a player like Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell will begin with a package featuring Tyler Herro.

If the team wants another star, Herro is the biggest trade chip to get them there.

Duncan Robinson

It's understandable that the Heat is on the fence about paying Tyler Herro big money. After all, their most recent poor decision — to pay Duncan Robinson $90 million (now that he's practically unplayable and an anchor on their salary cap) — is replaying tragically in the back of their minds.

The best way to sneak Duncan Robinson and his terrible contract onto another roster is to tack him onto the same package with Tyler Herro. That's normally how unloading bad contracts in the NBA works if you don't have a boatload of first-round picks to spare.

Heat Culture

Yup, we're going there. Tyler Herro's off-the-court persona could be a bit much for Dwyane Wade in his prime, but it's definitely overboard for a non-starter: Herro has endorsement deals from everything from designer clothing lines to energy drinks to cereals to NBA Top Shot. He's had a song named after him. He's a larger-than-life personality. Good for him. No problem. It's a free country!

But does that fit with who the Miami Heat are? It's off-brand and not the sort of look the Heat are accustomed to. It's also disproportionate to what he's done on the court in his career.

Window Closing

Sometimes a player can be excellent, but the situation calls for him to move on. It happened with Caron Butler when the Miami Heat made the Shaquille O'Neal trade, and it could happen again with Tyler Herro as the Heat seek a star.

Jimmy Butler is 32, Kyle Lowry is 36, and P.J. Tucker is 37 (if he returns). But the most important window of them all is that of Heat president Pat Riley, a man who is pushing 80 and longing for one more championship ring to add to his collection.

Tyler Herro is great, but the window of opportunity might call for him to be great elsewhere. 
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.