Heat’s Tyler Herro on dealing with trade rumors, summer goals and USA Basketball experience

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Tyler Herro is only 21. Herro is also preparing for just his third NBA season, but the Miami Heat guard already has enough experience dealing with trade rumors to know that it’s best to ignore them as much as possible.

“I’m done listening to all that, honestly,” Herro said during a Wednesday afternoon appearance at Jr. Heat Summer Camp at FTX Arena. “I think every time that we’re not playing or even if we are playing, my name is brought up in something. So it is what it is at this point. Like I said, I’m focused on getting better, getting this team better.”

Just this past season, Herro dealt with trade speculation involving his name on two occasions — when James Harden was available before the start of the regular season and near the trade deadline when Kyle Lowry became a possibility.

But Heat president Pat Riley labeled Herro “a core player” during his annual season-ending news conference in early June. Herro is one of only five Heat players who entered this summer with a guaranteed salary for next season, and the team is expected to exercise the $5.7 million team option in his contract for 2022-23.

“Obviously, we saw Milwaukee win a championship last night. It looked like a lot of fun,” Herro said. “So that’s what we’re building up to do is win a championship, and I don’t plan on going anywhere.”

Herro (6-5, 195) does plan on getting stronger this offseason, though. His goal is to put on 10 to 12 pounds this summer, and he has already added 4 pounds since the end of last season.

“This is really my first offseason, so I’m able to really have a regiment,” Herro said. “Having a certain amount of calories I eat in a day. I’m getting stronger every day and putting on weight. I think by the end of the summer I’ll be able to reach my goals.”

Herro averaged 15.1 points while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 36 percent on threes, five rebounds and 3.4 assists in 54 regular-season games (15 starts) this past season. In the playoffs, Herro averaged 9.3 points on 31.6 percent shooting from the field and 31.6 percent shooting on threes, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists.

It was an up-and-down sophomore NBA season for Herro, who moved to a bench role after starting in his first 14 appearances. He was then forced to miss seven games in January with neck spasms, sat out a Feb. 11 win against the Houston Rockets because of a false positive COVID-19 test, was unavailable for three games in late February with a right hip contusion, and missed seven games in the final weeks of the regular season because of right foot soreness.

How will adding weight help Herro’s game?

“I think it translates obviously offensively,” he said. “Getting stronger, I can get to my spots easier and just being able to defend bigger guys than me. I want to be able to be as big as the rest of the vets are in the league. So just gaining weight I think will help me tremendously on both ends.”

Herro also hopes that his experience in the USA Basketball program this summer will help him grow as a player. He spent a week in Las Vegas earlier this month as a member of the Team USA Select Team, which is a group consisting mostly of up-and-coming players who were at the national team’s training camp to practice and scrimmage against the Olympic roster.

“For me, it was a great experience to go in and learn a lot,” Herro said of his week with Team USA. “Going up against guys who are older than me and a lot more experienced. Just to get in there a couple of days and scrimmage and compete, it was good.”

The head coach of the select team this year was Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, which helped Herro pick up on things faster during practices. Herro said he learned “that I can play with the best of them,” during his short Team USA experience.

“I played fairly well out there,” Herro added. “I was able to be coached by my own coach. Obviously things came to me a lot faster. We were doing a lot of the same stuff in USA practices that we do here. It was just a great experience to go out there for four to five days and just have sessions where I could compete against guys older than me.”

THIS AND THAT

With Herro born and raised in the Milwaukee area, he was pleased to see the Bucks win their first NBA championship since 1971 on Tuesday night.

“I think it’s just big for the city,” Herro said. “I remember growing up a Bucks fan, and we were never good ever. For me as a kid growing up, you always wait for a moment for your home team to break through. I think that was huge for the city what they did last night. Just to be a part of Milwaukee growing up, it’s good to see that for the city.”

Herro attended Whitnall High School, which is in Greenfield, Wisconsin, and just a short drive away from Milwaukee.

With the Aug. 2 start of free agent negotiations less than two weeks away, guard Victor Oladipo changed representation. Oladipo, who was represented by Aaron Turner of Verus Basketball, switched to Excel Sports, which was founded by agent Jeff Schwartz.

Oladipo, 29, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Heat has his Bird rights, so it can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him up to his maximum salary.

Oladipo, who was acquired by the Heat in a trade in late March, underwent surgery to repair the quadriceps tendon in his right knee on May 13 after rupturing that same tendon in January 2019. He’s not expected to be ready for the start of the upcoming season, but there’s hope that Oladipo could be cleared to return to full contact basketball as early as November and be able to play by February.

As expected, the Heat trio of Precious Achiuwa, KZ Okpala and Gabe Vincent were named to Nigeria’s 12-man Olympic roster. With Bam Adebayo playing for Team USA in Tokyo, the Heat has four players participating in the Olympics this year.

Nigeria opens the group stage of the Olympics on Sunday against Australia at 4:20 a.m. Team USA begins play on Sunday against France at 8 a.m.

Heat television host Jason Jackson will hold his fourth annual Jax Celebrity Roast on Oct. 9 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. This year’s event will roast Dan Le Batard, with the list of previous roastees including retired Heat star Dwyane Wade and Miami Dolphins Hall of Famer Jason Taylor.

The event will benefit the JaxFam Foundation, which was established in 2016 “to aid organizations and individuals focused on improving the social, educational, and health standards of South Florida’s children and families.”

For more details and to purchase tickets, visit jaxcelebrityroast.com.

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