Heat trade proposal: Tyler Herro for Kyle Kuzma

The Miami Heat don’t have the money to play any significant tryouts in the offseason, but a trade is definitely still up for debate.

After Heat forward Tyler Herro was the subject of transfer rumors for most of last season, it’s no surprise to see his name pop up again in various transfer scenarios. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report suggested an interesting player swap: Herro to the Washington Wizards for Kyle Kuzma.

“The Heat have trouble relying on Herro, who never played more than 66 games in any of his first five NBA seasons. They may also have serious doubts about the defensive viability of a Herro-Terry Rozier backcourt,” Buckley wrote on July 10, adding:

“Swapping Herro for Kuzma could alleviate some of the defensive concerns in the backcourt (depending on who takes Herro’s starting spot, of course) while also giving Miami a 20-point scorer who previously served in a supporting role on a championship team (the 2019-20 Lakers, who coincidentally beat the Heat in the bubble).”

Would a trade of Tyler Herro and Kyle Kuzma be good for the Miami Heat?

Buckley seems to believe the Heat could benefit from signing the 29-year-old Kuzma, especially on defense. “The Heat have struggled to put enough two-way players on the court, and Kuzma is more balanced in that regard,” Buckley noted.

The 24-year-old Herro is younger and a far better three-point shooter (Kuzma’s career three-point percentage is 33.7%, Herro’s 38.5%), but Kuzma is a much better rebounder.

Kuzma is also more experienced – he played seven seasons in the NBA (four with the Lakers and three with the Wizards, compared to five for Herro – and has developed into an impressive starter in his three seasons in Washington. Since joining the Wizards, the 6-foot-1 forward has averaged 20.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

Herro’s numbers are comparable. In his last three seasons with the Heat, Herro averaged 20.5 points, 4.2 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game.

Financially, the Heat would save around $5.5 million by trading Herro for Kuzma. Herro has a salary cap hit of $29 million for the 2024-2025 season (figures via Spotrac), while Kuzma is due just over $23.5 million next season.

Considering Herro is still on the rise while Kuzma is at the peak of his career, this could be a trade-off for the Heat at best. If Herro is to be part of a trade package – and that’s certainly possible – the Heat will likely want to pair him with other players in hopes of getting another superstar to back up Jimmy Butler.

Heat has made minimal moves so far this offseason

The Heat have only signed one new veteran this offseason: swingman Alec Burks. Miami signed Burks to a one-year, $3.3 million deal, and the Heat don’t have much financial room to sign anyone else unless it happens via a trade.

The Heat currently have 14 players under contract and are only $1.2 million short of their second draft pick. Given their financial situation, a trade is the only sensible move if the Heat want to reshape their roster.

Miami has also made it a goal to bring back veteran players who have proven to be reliable supporting players and has re-signed bigs Kevin Love, Haywood Highsmith and Thomas Bryant, so running back is also a likely option.