A single one-word reference in a Jake Fischer round-up has NetsWorld all atwitter (pun intended.) The word was “Nets” and it was part of list of teams that could be interested in Tyler Herro should a larger Damian Lillard-to-Miami trade develop.
Here it is...
The Jazz — as well as the Bulls, Hornets and Nets — are considered a team interested in landing Tyler Herro from the Heat, sources said,
That’s it. That “it,” of course, is also the latest iteration of trade talk from earlier in the summer. Under that scenario, the Nets would provide the Heat with first round draft pick(s) so they could satisfy Blazers need for draft capital in a Lillard trade. In return, the Nets would take on Herro, a reliable 20-point a game combo guard. No other details.
While Fischer wrote about the Heat option, indeed Lillard’s own and only preference, he also reported Bulls and Raptors have joined in the pursuit of the seven-time All-NBA selection. There were other reports, from Adrian Wojnarowski, Shams Charania and Chris Haynes that the Blazers and Heat haven’t spoken recently, perhaps not since Summer League. Woj suggested that the Blazers were canvassing the league to see how a larger deal could work. Then when and if there are talks to put a deal together, there would be a structure in place for the larger trade. Also, while there may be interest in moving Lillard before a potentially embarrassing training camp, no deal is “imminent,” Woj added.
But the scenario has some issues. The Nets don’t have any space and are $8 million under the luxury tax threshold. Herro will make $27 million this season, the first of four in a $120 million contract. That number has reportedly scared off a number of possible suitors. More importantly, for Brooklyn, it would mean a large trade (although we are constantly surprised at how such trades are engineered within the new CBA.)
It is hard to imagine how the Nets would want to go over — or even near — the threshold this year. The consequences would be far-reaching. Because of how much and how often the Nets piled up in payments in the “Big Three” era, the Nets would risk significant repeater tax payments as well as new CBA restrictions not just for this season and next season, which are already ordained, but through 2025-2026. In the summer of 2025, there will be a number of big free agents on the market.
There will be no going back either. It would be set, period. No matter how much they might try to cut in salaries going forward, they’d still be liable for big payments through 2026. Exposure to the tax issues is cumulative. If you go over three times in four years, you become what is essentially a repeater offender. (Luxury taxes are based on team payroll on the last day of the regular season which is why there are unbalanced trades at the deadline.)
There’s no doubt that Herro would be quite the addition to the Nets roster. He can score and can score in bunches and in big moments. It could end a lot of questions about the where the team’s offense will come from. At only 23, he’s already won the Sixth Man of the Year award, averaged 20 per game in each of the past two years and helped his teams get to the NBA Finals twice in four years. He has had his share of injuries, most prominently during last year’s long play-off run. Over the past four years, he’s missed 74 regular season games. On the other hand, while that four year, $120 million deal may appear daunting, he’ll only be 27 at the other end of that.