• Matt Esposito

Who is Tyler Herro's Pro Comparison?

First things first, kudos to me for not titling this piece 'Herro Ball'. Second things second, let’s quickly debrief Tyler Herro’s skill set so we can come to a conclusion on his pro comparison.

What is Herro’s physical profile? There are some pluses and minuses when considering his measurables. At 6-foot-5, Herro has good height for a guard but, his 6-foot-3.5 wingspan won’t disrupt many passing lanes. Herro makes up for this lack of length with good effort. Additionally, he has a frame which suggests he could add some bulk. Now, on to his playing style.

With a picture-perfect stroke, Herro projects as a knockdown shooter at the next level. He keeps his release compact and gets good rotation on the ball. He only missed six free throws throughout the entire season, signaling his touch is for real. Herro will have to get more comfortable shooting off of screens and handoffs but, Tankathon projects his 3-point percentage to rise from 35 percent in college to 38 percent in the NBA.

He can do more than shoot off of the catch, though. A nice shot-creation package offers Herro some untapped upside. As a ballhandler, he can also operate out of the pick-and-roll where he earned 1.4 points per possession. Herro may not be used often in this role but he still possesses the playmaking vision to make smart reads anywhere on the court.

With a heavy dose of shooting, generous amount of shot-creation and a sprinkle of pick and roll facilitating, we now have the ingredients to cook Herro’s professional doppelganger stew. Who will this likely draft riser compare to?

Former Sixer turned Clipper Landry Shamet is the closest fit I have found. Standing at 6-foot-5 with a proportional wingspan, Shamet was a somewhat underrated prospect last year. The Ringer and the guys at ESPN had him ranked 38th and 50th overall on their respective big boards.

Am I mentioning this as a lead in to brag that I had Shamet 20th overall on my big board? No. It is to show that general managers value 3-point shooting, offensive IQ and secondary playmaking potential. Shamet displayed those traits enough for Philadelphia to select him 26th in last year’s draft. Herro will go even higher come June 20th.

What do these two guards have in common? Despite being only a single season into his NBA career, Shamet is already an elite spot-up shooter. This season 25.5 percent of his field goal attempts came from spot-up opportunities and he finished in the 97th percentile. Only 11 players had a higher points per possession that Shamet on these tries.

Herro is also in his zone when spotting up. The importance of this cannot be understated. With his short wingspan and solid, albeit limited athleticism, Herro may initially struggle to consistently cash in on his off-dribble shooting. Relying on spot-up attempts is something Herro should lean into. Fortunately, he is adept at these types of field goal attempts and has a path to follow by studying Shamet.

Let’s peak into Shamet’ college career to find more similarities. He had to redshirt his freshman year due to a foot injury. It makes more sense to compare Shamet’s sophomore year to Herro’s freshman campaign. What do the numbers say?

Shamet and Herro’s respective usage rates, assist percentages and offensive ratings were within a range of 2-5 points of each other. These numbers become more interesting when you consider that Shamet played often as an initiator of the offense for his Wichita State team. It suggests that Herro will and should be used in the NBA like Shamet was this year.

During Shamet’s final season in the college ranks he posted a 3-point attempt rate (3PAr) of 60.3 percent. This was a high percentage but, he was the lead scorer for his college team. Both the Sixers and Clippers used Shamet largely in off-ball roles which saw his 3PAr jump to 71.1 percent.

Last season, the Kentucky Wildcats split facilitating duties between two point guards, a combo forward and Herro. With a more dominant creator, Herro’s 3PAr of 41.9 percent could have risen. Regardless, expect it to rise in the pros, as the modern game calls for Herro to let them fly early and often.

Additionally, Shamet and Herro can still make plays for others. One particular play comes to mind when thinking of Shamet as a Clipper. He frequently received the ball off of a dribble handoff. His shooting gravity can draw two defenders at times and when it does, Shamet is quick to find a diving Montrezl Harrell for a rolling dunk.

Expect Herro to do more of the same. He has done it before and certainly has the vision for it. Shamet was ran frequently through pin downs and stagger screens and allowed the freedom to create on the move if necessary. Herro played in a similar offense at Kentucky.

Defensively, these two have athletic limitations. Yet, Shamet was praised for his defensive effort against the Golden State Warriors in this year’s postseason. Herro will have to hustle his way to success on that end of the court as well.

In his first NBA season, Herro will likely be used in a role akin to Shamet’s. The two have a comparable skill set, suggesting that Herro could flourish as a perimeter shooting with a long leash to set up others too. Teams will recognize the value of this role, making Herro’s inevitable draft day rise completely understandable.

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