Bradley Beal has been involved in trade rumors for what seems like forever. The Washington Wizards star is in high demand, and the latest rumor has him headed to South Beach to take his talents (never gets old) and join the Miami Heat.
If that indeed comes to fruition, congratulations, Tyler Herro.
This year’s frontrunner for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award has improved across the board offensively.
Assuming he’s part of the return headed back to D.C. — a safe assumption — he would immediately become a starter and likely the No. 1 offensive option for the Wizards.
That might seem like a big jump for the Greenfield, Wis. native, but take a deeper dive into his 2021-22 campaign, and it becomes apparent he’s ready for a much more significant NBA role.
Rumors have surfaced about a possible Bradley Beal-Miami Heat trade
Beal is eligible for, and by his own account ready to sign, a five-year, $245.6 million maximum deal with the Wizards.
Washington also has a handful of still-relatively-young, productive players in Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rui Hachimura, Daniel Gafford, and Corey Kispert.
But Shams also goes on to say the Heat “are seen as a legitimate suitor” for Beal if he decides to leave the Nation’s Capitol.
Miami is built to win now with a veteran-laden roster that includes Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler alongside still-rising star Bam Adebayo. The only thing the Heat are seriously missing is a scorer. Hence the Beal interest.
But Miami is also capped out, which would necessitate a sign-and-trade deal this offseason to bring Beal aboard. The team’s most attractive trade chips outside its Big Three are Herro, Max Strus, and Duncan Robinson.
Maybe the Wizards like a few other members of the Heat roster, but Herro would be the main piece of any trade.
And the 22-year-old is ready to take the next step and become the focal piece of a franchise offense.
Tyler Herro would be the deal’s biggest winner
Playing with the Wizards rather than being bubbled-wrapped inside the “Heat Culture” alongside Butler, Lowry, and Adebayo would be a marked change for Herro.
But he’s proven this season that he can lead an offense when given the opportunity.
In 32.7 minutes per game, Herro is averaging a career-high 21.1 points. He’s shooting a career-high 44.6% on a career-high 17.3 field-goal attempts.
He’s also shooting a career-high 39.4% on a career-high 6.8 three-point attempts. He’s shooting a career-high 87.1% from the free throw line on a career-high 3.5 attempts per game.
See a pattern?
Perhaps more importantly, the 6-foot-5 guard is averaging a career-high (again) 3.8 assists. He’s shown flashes of playmaking ability, but it’s never been consistent.
Put him on a new team where he can lead an offense, and those assist numbers will jump.
Let’s compare Herro’s per-40 minute numbers this year to Beal’s per-40 minute numbers during his best statistical season in 2020-21, via NBA.com:
- Herro: 25.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists with shooting splits of 44/39/87. Offensive rating of 113.1, defensive rating of 108.3, net rating of 4.8, assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.5
- Beal (2020-21): 35.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 7.4 assists with shooting splits of 49/35/89. Offensive rating of 107.1, defensive rating of 110.5, net rating of -3.5, assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.42.
Beal — as the focal point of the Wizards’ offense — has a slight edge in most categories. But it’s important to note he played only 60 games (Herro is at 58 as of March 22) and averaged more than three more minutes per night.
Also important to remember: Beal played with Russell Westbrook, Deni Avdija, and Davis Bertans. Herro is playing next to Butler, Lowry, and Adebayo.
Flip their roles, and it’s not difficult to see Herro playing the same role Beal did as Washington’s No. 1 offensive option.
This would be a fascinating trade for both sides
Regardless of who else ends up in the deal, Brad getting the opportunity to play a more secondary (or tertiary) role would be interesting. The Florida product is more suited to that spot in a lineup.
It would also be fascinating to see how Herro would play away from the Heat values.
Additionally, how would it change the fortunes of both franchises? How much better would Beal make Miami if they lose Herro and other rotation pieces in the process?
How would the Wizards’ future change with their shiny new toy on a similar timeline as the rest of the team’s best players? Avdija is 21, Gafford is 23, Kispert is 23, Hachimura is 24, and Kuzma is 26.
Shoot, even Porzingis is still somehow only 26.
It wouldn’t necessarily be a league-altering trade on the level of the Ben Simmons-James Harden swap, but it would be on a rung just below.
How all these things would play out is a fun thought exercise.
But Herro would get his own team and his own offense to lead. Even at 22 and in just his third NBA season, it’s time to give those to him and let him run.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.