After an impressive Playoff run in his rookie year, Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro struggled massively this year. Despite that, though, Pat Riley still has high hopes for him.

Per The Athletic’s Manny Navarro, Riley said this about Herro:

“He’s a core player. That’s all there is to it… Tyler Herro is a core player for us. Maybe he had a sophomore jinx or whatever.”

On the surface, this quote seems like a way to hype up Herro to the fans. But this could also be Riley’s way to prop up Herro’s value to other teams. Anthony Chiang reported yesterday that the Heat exercised their team option for Herro’s fourth year.

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Herro has had a pretty good stint with the Heat, occasionally showing flashes of his potential to be a better player than he is now. However, his breakout performance in the 2020 Playoffs accelerated his timeline, and Herro was not able to keep up.

His sophomore stats only marginally improved, which wasn’t what the Heat expected after he seemed to get it together in the Playoffs. He averaged 15/5/3 on good efficiency (43.9% from the field, 36.0% from three), but fans were expecting him to step up more. In the Playoffs, he absolutely tanked, scoring only 9.3 points on 31.6% shooting from the field and three.

If Herro does not step up in his third year, expect him to be involved in a lot of trade rumors for the Heat.