NBA rumors: Raptors could enter Damian Lillard talks, target Tyler Herro

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 22: Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 22: Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers have been among the most discussed teams in the NBA in recent weeks, as trade rumors surrounding their respective star players in Pascal Siakam and Damian Lillard, respectively, have dominated the airwaves.

Unlike Siakam, Lillard being traded is a matter of when not if. Lillard and his agents have made it very clear that his top destination is the Miami Heat and that being traded to other teams is unacceptable. However, Portland has been unimpressed with the assets Miami has offered.

Portland may need to get a third team involved in the mix if they want to get a deal done, and the Raptors might be able to help them in this very complicated trade. Of course, the Raptors will expect compensation in return, as they have their eyes set on one particular star from the Heat.

According to Mike Scotto of HoopsHype, the Raptors have expressed “exploratory interest” in acquiring Tyler Herro from the Heat as part of a more significant 3-team swap that ends up with Lillard in Miami. In terms of filling an immediate need, Herro would undoubtedly do an excellent job of that.

NBA Rumors: Raptors interested in Tyler Herro

Herro, who has a Sixth Man of the Year award in his trophy case, has averaged 20.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game on 44% shooting overall and just under 39% shooting from 3-point range. If instant offense is the main priority for Toronto right now, Herro certainly checks that box.

While Herro is a terrible defender who had some injury problems last season, the fact that he is already locked up long-term on a four-year, $120 million deal could be exciting for a Raptors team worried about financial pressures. $30 million per year for an ascending, high-scoring guard that is only 23 years old could be a steal.

The Raptors would likely need to send one of their best assets to Portland in this deal, which could either stoke the Siakam rumors even more or kick-start more discussion of an OG Anunoby swap. Once he is in town, however, it stands to reason that he could overtake Gary Trent Jr. in the starting lineup and be a featured offensive option.

This Herro deal is unlikely due to all the moving parts needed to pull this trade-off, but Masai Ujiri and the Raptors’ front office would be doing everyone else a serious disservice if they didn’t pursue this line of inquiry and attempt to bring in this electric scorer.

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