3 reasons why the Rockets should trade James Harden for Tyler Herro

Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Tyler Herro and Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

2. Herro has great offensive potential

Given Herro’s short NBA career, his college career should be considered when evaluating his potential. In his lone collegiate season for the University of Kentucky Wildcats, he played under the guidance of John Calipari and helped lead the team to a 30-7 record.

As a freshman, Herro’s 14 points per game were second on the team behind sophomore PJ Washington, who now plays for the Charlotte Hornets. Houston area fans should be quite familiar with Herro’s offensive prowess, as he hit the dagger shot to send the University of Houston Cougars home in the NCAA Tournament in their Sweet Sixteen matchup.

Herro not only owned the moment but finished the game with 19 points as he advanced to the Elite Eight for a matchup the Auburn University, in a game the Wildcats would lose in overtime. One season was enough for Herro and he entered the 2019 NBA Draft, where he was selected with the 13th pick by the Miami Heat.

Unlike most lottery picks, Herro found himself in the unique position of playing for an NBA contender during the 2019-20 NBA season. In his rookie year, he averaged 13.5 points per game on 42.8-percent shooting and shot an impressive 38.9-percent from beyond the arc.

Compared to the top two picks from the 2019 draft, Tyler Herro’s stat line does not catch the casual fans’ eyes but there is a reason for that. Zion Williamson finished his first year averaging 22.5 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, on 58.3-percent shooting but did so on a team unable to make the postseason.

Similarly, 2019-20 Rookie of the Year recipient, Ja Morant finished his first season with averages of 17.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game but he also failed to reach the playoffs. While both of these stat-lines are sexier than Herro’s, he played for a championship contender with established veterans which prevented him from a larger offensive role.

Most teams that have drafted in the lottery provide their rookies with a large role on offense, which is why both Zion and Morant’s statistics were better.  Zion posted a 30.5-percent usage rate and Morant came in at 25.9-percent, while Herro’s only clocked in at 22.3-percent.

Zion asserted himself as an offensive weapon for the Pelicans by averaging 15 field goal attempts per game. Morant, along with his teammate Dillon Brooks, were nearly tied for the highest field-goal attempts per game for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Meanwhile, Herro was fifth in field goal attempts on the Heat behind Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, and Goran Dragic. Playing on an NBA contender hid his offensive potential, but Herro flashed his offensive brilliance as a sixth man for the Miami Heat during the 2019-20 NBA season on his way to All-Rookie Second Team honors.

Per 36 minutes he averaged 17.7 points per game, and given the depth chart of the Miami Heat, Herro had to balance his game between creating his own offense and being an elite catch-and-shoot player. Last season he posted a 60/40 split on the percentage of his field goals that were assisted vs unassisted.

When diving a little deeper into the analytics, we can really begin to understand his offensive potential. Herro has been stereotyped as a catch-and-shoot 3-point threat, which is unequivocally false.

Herro shows a nearly 50-50 split between 3-point and 2-point field goal attempts and zeroing in on his 2-point field goal attempts, Herro’s split is distributed quite evenly across the court which shows that he is capable of scoring effectively from anywhere on the floor. The weakest part of his game has been inside the 3-point line, where he is shooting 42.2 percent. With a few more years of experience, Herro will grow into a larger role offensively.

Next: Reason #1