3 reasons why the Rockets should trade James Harden for Tyler Herro
3. Herro’s age and contract
In a salary-capped league like the NBA, a player’s contract and their age play an outsized role in their value. Teams can only spend so much on a roster and the result is that players on rookie deals, even if they’re less productive, are more valuable than many veterans.
So when a player is young, cheap, and productive they check off all three boxes for NBA general managers. Tyler Herro is one of those players and gives him an edge when compared to other notable prospects.
Ben Simmons, who has been viewed as the centerpiece for the Rockets in a trade with Philadelphia, is close to three-and-a-half years older than Herro. While their age gap isn’t large, it’s a notable consideration when finding a replacement for James Harden.
Herro is entering the second year of his rookie contract which is set to expire following the 2022-23 season and the Rockets can likely lock him up for a five-year max contract extension after his rookie deal, if he lives up to expectations. The Rockets have the opportunity, in Tyler Herro, to secure a foundational player for the next eight years.
For comparison, Ben Simmons is beginning the first year on his new contract which will expire in five years after the 2024-25 season. In addition to having Tyler Herro in town through the 2020s, the Rockets will be able to enjoy the three years remaining on his rookie contract before he is eligible for a larger payday.
This season alone, Herro is $25.4 million cheaper than Simmons. The financial flexibility he provides the organization will be a nice change of pace after the Rockets paid James Harden and Russell Westbrook a combined $76.7 million last season.
While Herro’s financial impact for the Rockets will be a massive positive for the franchise, it’s not close to being his only selling point. Herro has shown the potential to become one of the league’s best pure scorers.
Next: Reason #2