Ex-Cats

What is the Heat’s summer-league plan for Tyler Herro? ‘See what he can do’

What the Heat are getting in Kentucky’s Tyler Herro

The Heat took Tyler Herro out of Kentucky with the 13th pick in the NBA Draft. Here's what the team is getting with the young guard.
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The Heat took Tyler Herro out of Kentucky with the 13th pick in the NBA Draft. Here's what the team is getting with the young guard.

It has been just a week since Tyler Herro was drafted by the Heat with the 13th overall pick in the NBA Draft and got on a plane the next day to travel to Miami for his introductory press conference.

Since then, Herro spent a few days in his hometown of Milwaukee and is now in Sacramento preparing for the start of summer league.

It has been a busy week for the 19-year-old.

“Just a long seven days,” the former University of Kentucky star said Friday afternoon following his first summer-league practice. “I went home after I came from Miami for a couple days and just getting ready for summer league. We had our first practice today, it was a good practice and another one tonight. I’m just excited to get started.”

The Heat are holding three days of practices in Sacramento (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) before beginning summer-league play Monday against the Lakers at 9 p.m. ET in the California Classic at Golden 1 Center. What’s the plan for Herro over the next few weeks as the Heat competes in the Sacramento and Las Vegas summer leagues?

While the Heat has used summer league in the past to explore different aspects of a player’s skill set that wouldn’t otherwise shine through in a smaller regular-season role, the specific plan for Herro is still to be determined. Bam Adebayo and Derrick Jones Jr. were used as primary offensive options last summer, but Heat summer-league head coach Eric Glass was quick to point a difference in Herro’s situation.

“We got to see what he can do, first. We’ve only had film on him from Kentucky,” Glass said Friday. “Bam and DJ, we had in our gym for the whole season before. We knew exactly what their skill set was. We were preparing them for this.

“I’m not going to put a box on Tyler. If there’s certain things he can do, we’ll try to put him in positions to make him look good. We’re not going to put him in spots where he’s not prepared or he’s going to look silly out there. I’ll let him do as much as he’s capable of doing.”

After Herro’s first practice Friday, Glass said: “He seems to be very sharp. He makes good eye contact when we’re coaching him. He’s picking things up pretty quickly. Because it’s tough, some guys’ heads are spinning and some guys are a little bit easier. He seemed to pick things up pretty quickly.”

Herro was labeled by many as a shooter during the pre-draft process, but the Heat believes there’s more to his game. Summer league will be his first opportunity to prove that on the NBA level.

“Just showing the organization and the Heat fans. Just showing them obviously, I’m worth the pick,” Herro said of his summer-league goals. “… I think the coaches, they’ll definitely put me in the right situations to make me play my best. Whatever they think that is, that’s what I’m going to do.”

University of Kentucky men’s basketball player Tyler Herro played one season in Lexington before announcing he would enter the NBA Draft.

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Anthony Chiang covers the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and was born and raised in Miami.
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