Tyler Herro — the Heat star and the reigning Sixth Man of the Year — is eligible for a contract extension this summer.
However, there has been little talk about that outside of Miami. When Herro’s name has come up this offseason, it’s been as a headliner in the Heat’s trade offers for Kevin Durant or Donovan Mitchell. Herro’s value as a trade chip could be a key reason a contract extension is not getting discussed (and may not get done before the season starts), reports Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.
Keep in mind that if the Heat wait on an extension, it means Tyler Herro remains trade eligible at any point during the season, potentially a chip to put in play at the February NBA trading deadline. The risk is losing Tyler as a restricted free agent next summer. But that also almost never happens, as evidenced this summer with the Suns and Deandre Ayton. Either way, it appears it will be a decision that will come much closer to the Oct. 18 extension deadline. There simply is no urgency from the Heat’s perspective at the moment.
The second Herro signs an extension he becomes virtually untradable (he cannot be traded before Jan. 15 and has veto power over a deal for a year from when it is signed).
Winderman expanded on this as part of the Heat-focused “Inside the Paint” show this week. Maybe, if it gets deep into training camp and it’s clear a Herro for Durant/Mitchell trade is not happening, the two sides will talk more seriously about an extension. Still, Winderman thinks it’s more likely to head into restricted free agency next summer because the Heat want the flexibility. The risks with putting off an extension are twofold: 1) Another team could come in with a big offer and try to poach Herro next summer; 2) It damages the relationship between the player and the organization because he doesn’t feel prioritized and cared for.
The Heat appear willing to risk those things in the Herro case.
All this doesn’t even touch on if the two sides can agree to an extension. Herro and his representative would want the max but, with the salary cap expected to up under a new television deal in 2025, maybe for four years instead of five. Something like the four-year, $132.9 million Deandre Ayton signed (via a Pacers offer sheet). Except, is Herro a max player? He’s a great shooter and can get a bucket, but is he a franchise cornerstone player for Miami the way Bam Adebayo clearly is? That’s not how Herro is viewed around the league (Zach Lowe at ESPN did a deep dive and settled on a CJ McCollum comp — maybe the third-best player on a contender). Winderman suggested a four-year, $106 million contract close to what Jaylen Brown got a few years back and Jalen Brunson got this summer. Would Herro go for that, or would he rather play it out and take his chances on the open market next summer?
Either way, Herro has his head down and is just trying to get ready for the coming season. Which is good, it’s looking like a contract year for him.