Damian Lillard quickly ended any Brooklyn Nets rumors following his trade request, firmly setting his sights on the Miami Heat. This has shifted speculation surrounding the Nets to Tyler Herro. With Portland uninterested in the Heat guard in a Lillard deal, Brooklyn has emerged as a potential landing spot in a three-team trade.
Amid the trade rumors, Herro posted a picture of himself training with Nets big man Ben Simmons on his Instagram account Thursday.
Tyler Herro and Ben Simmons working out together pic.twitter.com/LGxNQVbnRz
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) July 13, 2023
Simmons has been working out in Miami for over the last month while progressing through a rehab program for his surgically-repaired back. The three-time All-Star’s training partner will turn heads given Herro’s rumored connection to Brooklyn.
The Nets recently opened significant space below the luxury tax by using second-round picks to dump Joe Harris and Patty Mills. That space allows them to trade for a player making more money than they send out. That player could be Herro, with Brooklyn having some level of interest in acquiring the 23-year-old, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
“It’s been reported that the Nets would have interest in Herro, and I have heard that as well,” Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective podcast. “They offloaded three contracts in the last few days… They’re actually a candidate to make a trade where they bring in more salary than they send out.”
.@WindhorstESPN said he’s heard the Nets would have interest in acquiring Tyler Herro:
“It’s been reported that the Nets would have interest in Herro, and I have heard that as well. They offloaded three contracts in the last few days… They’re actually a candidate to make a… pic.twitter.com/mwUz859POp
— Erik Slater (@erikslater_) July 5, 2023
With the Nets signing Cam Johnson, Dennis Smith Jr. and Lonnie Walker in free agency, as well as first-round picks Noah Clowney and Dariq Whitehead, they are $9.8 million below the luxury tax. Herro is set to make $27 million in 2023-24, meaning Brooklyn would need to send out $17.2 million in a trade to acquire him while staying out of the tax. Spencer Dinwiddie is entering the final year of his contract at $20.4 million, making him the most likely candidate to be moved in a deal.
Herro averaged 20.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists on 44/39/90 shooting splits over his last two seasons. The 23-year-old’s shot creation would go a long way for a Nets team that was desperately searching for offense during a first-round sweep against the Philadelphia 76ers. His elite three-point shooting (38 percent on 8.0 attempts per game last season) would be a significant upgrade to a backcourt that includes Dinwiddie, Cam Thomas, Lonnie Walker, Dennis Smith Jr and Edmond Sumner, none of whom have shot over 35 percent from deep for their careers.
There are some questions about the long-term value of Herro’s contract at four years, $120 million. However, any deal for the Kentucky product would come with the Nets acquiring him at a discount, given they’d be helping the Heat form a superteam with Lillard, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
Miami can currently offer Portland two first-round picks in a trade for Lillard. Brooklyn has 11 first-rounders over the next seven years, the fourth most draft capital in the league. If the Nets are genuinely high on Herro, they could send Miami a pick that could be re-routed to Portland in exchange for his services.
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