Could the Utah Jazz land Tyler Herro in a Damian Lillard deal?

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Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) shoots over Utah Jazz guard Joe Ingles (2) during the game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.

Ever since former Weber State star Damian Lillard requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers on July 1, there has been plenty of talk about whether or not the Utah Jazz could pursue him.

On Wednesday, Yahoo NBA insider Jake Fischer reported that the Jazz could indeed get involved in a Lillard deal, but not necessarily to land the seven-time All-Star.

It has been widely reported that the Trail Blazers are not interested in acquiring Tyler Herro from the Miami Heat, Lillard’s preferred destination, but Herro’s contract at roughly $30 million per year over the next four seasons and his status as a good young player makes it probable that he would be traded if Lillard gets his wish.

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As such, a third team could get involved and acquire Herro, and this is where the Jazz could come in.

Fischer wrote that “there is optimism among league personnel that Portland will find at least a first-round pick from another franchise that’s more keen to welcome Tyler Herro,” but “the only team even loosely connected as a Herro suitor has been Utah.”

He also reported that, “the Jazz’s valuation of Herro was a key talking point around last year’s Summer League, too, as team staffers were readying for Utah to move on from Donovan Mitchell — in a trade sweepstakes that NBA figures believed would come down to the Heat’s offer featuring Herro, similar to their possible package for Lillard, and a potential offer from New York that could have included R.J. Barrett.”

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The Jazz of course, ended up trading Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji and a bunch of future draft picks and pick swaps.

As far as Herro is concerned, the 23-year-old is a 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard who was the 13th pick of the 2019 NBA draft by the Heat out of Kentucky.

Herro won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award following the 2021-22 season after averaging 20.7 points, five rebounds and four assists per game.

In the season that just concluded, Herro had nearly identical numbers, as he averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per contest, although he was limited to just one playoff game because of injury as Miami made a surprise run to the NBA Finals before losing to the Denver Nuggets.

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Should a deal get done, Herro would join a crowded Jazz backcourt, but he would raise the overall potential of the group.

Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin has told reporters that he will prioritize his team’s interests over automatically sending Lillard to the Heat, saying on Monday that “If it takes months (to complete a deal), it takes months.”

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