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The Heat kept Tyler Herro under contract. Will he remain in Miami?

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Herro is one of only five players under contract through the 2022-23 season.

2021 USA Basketball Training Camp : All-Access Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald reported Friday that the Miami Heat picked up the fourth-year option on Tyler Herro’s contract. The move, which was widely expected, makes Herro only the fifth player under contract for the 2022-23 season. The other four are core pieces — Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson.

The question with Herro has always been whether he is a core part of this franchise or a trade chip. In his post-mortem press conference on the Heat’s dreary 2020-21 season, Pat Riley called Herro a “core player” in response to a question, but some speculated that he was trying to boost his asset with that characterization.

Ethan J. Skolnick of 5 Reasons Sports said that there was at least a 75 percent chance that Herro would get traded this off-season. That didn’t happen — Miami was able to trade for Kyle Lowry without giving up Herro. But the 2019 first-round pick remains an asset because of his age and his cost-controlled rookie contract.

The 21-year-old’s third NBA season will determine the future of his trajectory in Miami. At least until Victor Oladipo returns, Herro will be the unquestioned sixth man on the Heat. Neither Goran Dragic nor Kendrick Nunn are there to add in scoring. If Herro plays well, Miami could keep him and sign him to an extension in a year. (Though it’s fair to say he won’t get the max, as Adebayo did in 2020.) If he struggles, Miami may dangle him in trade talks.