Has Tyler Herro played his way into a max contract extension?

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Tyler Herro is about to run away with Sixth Man of the Year — it will be close to a unanimous vote — and he will be a critical part of what the Heat hope will be a deep playoff run this year.

Then this summer, Herro comes up for a contract extension to his rookie deal.

Did his bounce-back season — 20.7 points a game, shooting 38.4% from 3, plus becoming a key secondary playmaker — earn him a max contract extension? At least a few people Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer spoke to think so.

Some rival executives and agents polled by B/R believe Herro’s next deal may approach his five-year, $184 million maximum. Others have pointed more toward Jaylen Brown‘s recent structure of a four-year, $106 million deal. For context, Fred VanVleet and Lonzo Ball‘s recent four-year, $85 million contracts have set a clear benchmark in the market, where this summer combo guards such as Jalen Brunson and Collin Sexton are said to be seeking salaries north of $20 million.

Herro is going to make more than Ball and VanVleet. It’s also hard to imagine him getting the max (Ja Morant will get that extension this summer, and likely Zion Williamson, although that could have injury caveats), although that’s likely what his agent throws on the table to open negotiations.

The Jaylen Brown number, a little more than $25 million a season on average, seems about right. Maybe something like five years, $130 million, or in that ballpark, as guaranteed money. This is likely going to be one of those contracts that, when it’s first announced, will sound a lot higher than that (maybe close to the max), but that’s because all the incentives will be counted. The actual number will be lower.

This Herro extension will kick in for the 2023-24 season.

Things are going to get expensive in Miami going forward. They have $133 million already on the books for next season with 11 players, which is over the cap ($121 million is the expected number) and fast approaching the tax line ($147 million). For 2023-24, the Heat have Jimmy Butler at about $45 million (the extension he signed last summer), Bam Adebayo ($32.6 million), Kyle Lowry ($29.7 million) and Duncan Robinson ($18.2 million under contract), plus the Herro extension — and that is just five players. It is likely someone gets traded (Robinson is the most likely candidate).

No team is as creative with the cap as the Heat, and they are paying for a team that leads the East and is a contender, but staying on top like that will not be easy.