Though the NBA Rookie of the Year conversation is generally centered around two people, Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro strongly believes he deserves to be part of it.
If it wasn’t for a minor ankle injury, he said, he thinks he’d be at the top.
"I would say [my rookie season] went pretty well,” Herro said, via ESPN. “I ended up getting hurt towards the middle of the year, I missed like 15 games, but before that, I felt like I was starting to find my stride, starting to prove myself, so I'm definitely looking forward to getting back.
"I definitely feel like if it wasn't for that injury, I feel like I would be one or two in the Rookie of the Year race, so I'm ready to get out there and prove myself again."
Herro has averaged 12.9 points, four rebounds and 1.9 assists in 47 games for the Heat this season while shooting nearly 40% from behind the 3-point line. His points per game total rank eighth among rookies while his rebounds per game ranks 13th.
He is tied for first with 2.1 3-pointers made per game, and knocked down seven in a game against the Washington Wizards earlier this year while setting a franchise rookie record.
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the award this season. The former Murray State standout averaged 17.6 points, 6.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds so far this season. New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson — who was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft last June — has put up 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds so far this season, too. He has played in just 19 games, however, due to a knee surgery he underwent in October.
Herro missed 15 games due to ankle soreness, but returned on March 11 — the same day that the NBA suspended operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, Herro said he has been working out at home in an effort to stay ready should the season resume in some form.
"I just hope that they open as soon as possible," Herro said, via ESPN. "Obviously, hoping everybody stays safe ... but we would all love to get back into the facilities and start working out and stuff like that again on a normal routine."
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