Pat Riley

Pat Riley, the president of the Miami Heat, has responded to off-season trade speculations that the organization utilized guard Tyler Herro as a trade chip to acquire Damian Lillard.

Off-season trade rumors

Amid the off-season, social media buzzed with numerous trade speculations, leaving fans eagerly awaiting confirmation on player relocations. Among the many rumors, Damian Lillard, the seven-time All-Star NBA player, requesting a trade to the Miami Heat garnered significant attention. Fans expressed their support for Lillard’s desire to join the Heat after an 11-season stint with the Trail Blazers. Notably, Heat guard Tyler Herro, rumored as the potential trade piece for Lillard, didn’t share the same sentiment.

At one point, the media and fans even thought that the trade talks between the Blazers and Heat were successful when Herro dropped a cryptic Instagram post. The post had the lyrics to Rod Wave and Wet’s Nostalgia. The first phrase of the post, “Ain’t no friends in this business, cutthroat competition,” may have initially appeared normal to people who aren’t basketball enthusiasts, but NBA fans read it as a subliminal confirmation that he had been dealt by the Miami Heat for Lillard.

In the subsequent days, the narrative gained traction as various media sources disclosed inquiries from other teams regarding Tyler Herro’s availability. Reports indicated the Portland Trail Blazers displayed no interest in retaining the guard.

However, last month, after weeks of rumors and anticipation, fans were disappointed as Lillard was traded to the Bucks rather than the Heat. This situation left everyone involved in an awkward position, with Lillard not ending up with his desired team and potentially cooling Herro’s relationship with Miami.

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Pat Riley speaks up

Before the regular season commenced, Riley set the record straight by stating that the Heat never intended to trade Herro in exchange for Lillard.

“We have never shopped him and had no interest in ever trading the guy,” Riley said of Herro, as per AP News. “But when you’re talking about acquiring one of the top five players in the league, there isn’t anybody on our team that won’t be discussed.

Riley also added that Tyler was one of Heat’s valuable players that they’re counting on to win the championship this season.

“To win it, it’s going to take this mentality on the part of our team and on the part of our three best players — most importantly, Jimmy and Bam and Tyler,” Riley added. “They’re the guys we really look to, the guys that are getting paid, they have to have far and away their career-best years that impact winning. So, whatever that is, scoring, rebounding, assists, not turning it over, defensively, whatever it is … that’s what it’s going to take.”

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