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Heat’s Tyler Herro argues he would be ‘1 or 2’ in ROY race if not for injury

Tyler Herro, Heat

If the NBA is able to resume, Miami Heat rookie Tyler Herro will get his first taste of playoff basketball, with his team currently in the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference at 41-24. However, the first-year swingman has personal motivations for finishing the 2019-20 season, too. The 20-year-old, selected 13th overall by Miami in 2019, is still eager prove his place amongst his rookie class.

“I’m definitely looking forward to getting back. I definitely feel like if it wasn’t for that injury, I feel like I would be one or two in the Rookie of the Year race so I’m ready to get out there and prove myself again,” Herro told ESPN’s Eric Woodyard.

The 6’5″ Heat shooting guard had a promising season after one year at Kentucky—averaging 17.0 points per 36 minutes on 39.1% three-point shooting—but his opportunities were limited by a right ankle sprain suffered on Feb. 3. Herro had finally returned to action on March 11—the night the NBA went on hiatus.

Still, Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra have to feel encouraged about the debut seasons from Herro and fellow rookie Kendrick Nunn (15.6 points per game in 62 starts)—both of whom had been integral contributors alongside All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant is the frontrunner to win Rookie of the Year, and was fending off a late push from the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson.

Regarding team practice facilities potentially reopening as states begin to ease certain restrictions, Herro told Woodyard that “I just hope that they open as soon as possible. Obviously, hoping everybody stays safe and stuff like that but we would all love to get back into the facilities and start working out and stuff like that again.”