Weight: 194 pounds
Stats: 14 points, 4.5 rebounds
Yes, Tyler Herro is a good shooter. But that does not apply to simply hitting wide open three point shots. He proved during his time with Kentucky that he also has a strong mid-range game, and he can also score around the basket. He shot just over 35% from behind the three-point line last season, but his potential is much greater. Apparently some of that potential has been showing in his NBA workouts.
High basketball IQ
Yes, Herro is a good shooter. But potentially his greatest quality is his ability to think quickly and effectively in fast-paced game situations. This allows him to play efficient help defense, make quality passes in traffic, and make the right play more often than not. Basketball IQ can be learned, but some players have it naturally ingrained in them. Herro is one of those players.
Stauskas was a scoring machine in his sophomore year at Michigan. However, he ultimately averaged only a fraction of a point more than Herro in college. Both players are known for their three-point shoot and their ability to create their own shot. In case you don’t remember, Stauskas put up 24 points against Kentucky in the Elite 8 in 2014. Of course, Kentucky won the game and went on to finish as the national runner-up. Stauskas was drafted No. 8 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.
In the pros, Stauskas has averaged around 20 minutes per game. He was a starter for the Philadelphia 76ers early in his career, but has been a rotation player in recent years and currently plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite only shooting 35% from three and 39% from the field, his basketball IQ keeps him on a roster and finding minutes with multiple teams throughout his career. Hopefully, Herro can be more productive offensively and have an even bigger impact than Stauskas.
Harris may be an even better comparison to Herro. Harris went No. 33 overall in the 2014 draft, but has seen more success than Stauskas in his career. Harris started every game that he was available to play in the 2018-2019 season, shooting 50% from the field and a fantastic 47% from behind the three-point line.
Harris has adjusted better to the NBA than Stauskas, and it may help that he is a bit bulkier, which helps him to endure more of the physicality of the league. Herro would be wise to model his game after Harris, which includes packing on about 20 pounds.
There is a chance that Tyler Herro has his named called in the lottery on Thursday after just one season of college. That sentence would have been ridiculous to read a year ago. But Herro has proven himself to be very coachable, hard-working, and ready for the rigor of the NBA.
Herro averaged 14 points per game in the 2018-2019 season. But for the majority of the season, he was the third option on offense behind PJ Washington and Keldon Johnson. So for him to be as productive as he was is very impressive.
Herro’s biggest games of the season were against Louisville (24 points) and Arkansas (29 points). In each of those games, he was incredibly efficient from the floor shooting at least 77% from the floor and 66% from the three-point line.
However, he did not take more than 13 shots in either game. If he gets hot in an NBA game in that way, you know the coach will feed him and he has the chance for a Devin Booker-like performance.
Herro has a very high motor, and he has worked hard to improve defensively. However, there are limitations to his athleticism. Will he be a perennial NBA All-Star?
Probably not. But does he have what it takes to be a solid contributor to a good team?
Boston Celtics, 14th or 20th Overall
With Kyrie Irving presumably on his way out and Jaylen Brown being on the verge of free agency, the Celtics could use some youth in the back court with Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier. Herro would certainly fit their model of being hard-nosed, high-motor players.
Brad Stevens is also a basketball genius, so for him to have someone with Tyler Herro’s basketball IQ at his disposal would have to be appealing. The Celtics also have three first round draft picks, so they can afford to take a gamble on Herro’s potential.
Detroit Pistons, 15th Overall
This may be the most odd fit of the mock drafts we have seen, but there seem to be real legs to the Pistons considering Herro. They have a great deal of depth at shooting guard with Svi Mykhailiuk, Khyri Thomas, Luke Kennard, and Bruce Brown. So it may seem odd that the Pistons would target Herro.
However, they also have a need for outside shooting. And the Pistons believe he may be a better shooter than the other shooting guards on their roster. They also love his motor and competitiveness, and apparently he has impressed them so much they may take him at No. 15 simply because they believe he is the best player available at that time.
Indiana Pacers, 18th Overall
The Pacers believe they have some strong building blocks off with the haul they got from shipping Paul George to Oklahoma City. What they lack is depth and outside shooting. The Pacers only had three players shoot better than 36% from behind the three-point line in the 2018-2019 season.
There is a lot of youth on this team, and getting a young player with a high ceiling like Herro could give management the flexibility to trade away some other young assets to meet specific team needs. However, they apparently also have their eye on Keldon Johnson. If both Kentucky players are available at No. 18, it will be interesting to see which way they go. Herro was very impressive in his workout for them.
This may be a cop-out, but statistically speaking the most likely landing spot for Herro is with the Celtics. They have three picks right in the range where he will likely be selected (No. 14, No. 20, No. 22), and he reportedly blew them away in his private workout.
Big Blue Nation would have to love the idea of Herro being coached by an offensive mind like that of Brad Stevens. There is also the possibility that Boston could pick up another Kentucky player in the draft, and some believe Anthony Davis may eventually end up with the Celtics in free agency.
The Celtics are on the cusp of competing for the East, and it would be a lot of fun to see Herro on the stage of the NBA Playoffs. He also has a skill-set that is a bit different from their uber-athletic guards, so he would fit a need and have the potential to play some immediately.