The Miami Heat were arguably the most talked-about team during the offseason and Damian Lillard was the main reason for this. The Portland Trail Blazers icon requested a trade to leave the team after 11 years. The decision sparked huge waves on social media as his next team was in doubt.
The Heat were the frontrunners for most of the time. Dame made it clear that he only wanted to play for the Florida-based team and that he could make no compromises. However, reports at the time mentioned that Pat Riley and Co. were not willing to offer what the Blazers wanted, and believed it was too costly for them.
BREAKING: The Portland Trail Blazers are trading guard Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/FRgQyDVjQG
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 27, 2023
Heat was only reportedly willing to let go of Tyler Herro. Many insiders mentioned that he was the first player on any offer that the Heat were planning to make for Damian Lillard. However, Pat Riley recently debunked these reports and mentioned that there were no plans to let him leave.
“I will say this, that we never offered Tyler in any trade, we’ve never shopped him to anybody. … The fact that Tyler has been involved in these discussions, he almost should wear that as a badge of honor.”
– Pat Riley on Tyler Herro
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) October 23, 2023
Ultimately, the Milwaukee Bucks entered the conversation last minute and had to let go of Jrue Holiday for Dame. Holiday joined the Boston Celtics and Dame moved to Milwaukee in a blockbuster three-team trade that set the NBA world on fire.
Viewing this from Herro’s point of view, it is understandable that he may question Heat’s decision to let go of him without a second thought. After all, Dame is an elite shooter and arguably one of the best guards in NBA history. But make no mistake, Herro does boast plenty of talent, provided he remains grounded and continues to perform consistently.
That was certainly what he promised recently, after Lillard’s trade to the Bucks. Herro sent a message promising Heat fans a comeback. Recently, ahead of a Bucks-Heat game, Herro also spoke about being motivated to face them. He said that there was some “Added motivation” to face them for several reasons.
Tyler Herro gets brutally honest about Damian Lillard relationship
Apart from facing the Bucks, Herro also mentioned how his relationship with Lillard was. He said, “I’ve never spoken to him…There’s no hate toward him at all. He’s a great player. I’ve been watching him my whole life. So I’m excited to continue to compete against the best.”
Understandably, the young star has no relationship with the veteran. However, he has immense respect for Dame, which isn’t all that surprising considering the stature of the Bucks newbie. Dame got off to a blistering start with the Bucks, making 39 points in his first outing. As for Herro, on the other hand, has been pretty decent in scoring, making more than 20 points in the first two games.
One of the reasons for Herro’s motivation would be his injury against the Bucks in round one of the playoffs last year. The young star suffered a broken hand in Game 1 and had to be sidelined for the rest of the postseason. His absence for the team was noticeable, as the Heat looked to miss an exceptional shooter.
It will be interesting to see how these two players perform for their respective teams. The Bucks have a better chance at the title, but the Heat aren’t to be taken lightly as well. They made it to the finals last year with a depleted squad and managed to knock out the Boston Celtics as well. Jimmy Butler and Co. will surely be able to pull off something magical if all goes well for them this year.