A lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, few expected Tyler Herro to take off like he did as a rookie.
The Wildcat combination of Herro and Bam Adebayo has, along with Jimmy Butler and several others, transformed the Miami Heat from a team without title expectations to one of the favorites to represent the Eastern Conference.
Not an All-Star as a rookie — an uber-rare feat — Herro wants to take his play to that level. Known as the “Bucket” in Lexington, Herro was a scorer first and did everything else second.
During his lone season at UK, Herro averaged 14.0 points per game on 46% from the field. He’s almost topped that as a rookie, scoring 12.9 points per game. However, at the sport’s highest level, Herro wants to do more than just score.
“My thing is, I don’t want to just be a scorer. I plan on being an All Star one day and that’s what I’m set to work out to be. I know it’s going to take a lot obviously and it’s going to happen on both ends of the floor. I’m allowing coach [Spoelstra] and the rest of the staff to push me every day,” Herro told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
Herro has a point. While he’s not a liability on the defensive end, Herro, according to the Herald, is a marginally below-average defender. Herro averaged .8 steals and .2 blocks per 36 minutes. At the mid-March suspension, Herro had a -1.3 defensive box plus-minus.
It’s not horrible, but those numbers are far from good. Along with his passing and rebounding, Herro has a point — he needs to be more than a scorer. As a rookie, he has all the time in the world to change his identity in the league.
But, as he notes, it’ll take the work, and from what we’ve seen of Herro and his tenacity, he’ll undoubtedly be putting in what it takes to be great.