MIAMI — For the Miami Heat's Tyler Herro, this summer has brought many firsts for him.
Herro's first opportunity to work with the USA Basketball program as a professional player since the Heat drafted him out of Kentucky in June 2019 came this month.
He's in the midst of his first "real" offseason as an NBA player after the COVID-19 pandemic altered the schedule for his first two NBA seasons and resulted in the Heat and Herro having seven weeks off between their trip to the 2020 NBA Finals and the start of this past season.
But one constant of Herro's brief NBA career has been hearing his name included in trade rumors, with the 21-year-old guard determined to block out the noise entering his third professional season.
"I'm done listening to all that, honestly," Herro said on Wednesday when speaking to reporters at FTX Arena during an appearance at the Jr. Heat summer camp. "Every time we're not playing, or even if we are playing, my name's brought up in something.
"So, it is what it is at this point. I'm focused on getting better and getting this team better."
A key part of this offseason for Herro is continuing to add weight to his 6-foot-5, 200-pound frame — the measurements he was listed at last season.
He said he's gained four pounds so far this summer since the Milwaukee Bucks eliminated the Heat in the first round of the playoffs on May 29, with his goal being to put on 10-12 pounds during the offseason.
The NBA scheduled the start of next season training camp for Sept. 28 ahead of an Oct. 19 start to the regular season.
"This is really my first offseason, so I'm able to really have a regiment," he said. "Having a certain amount of calories I eat in a day. I'm getting stronger every day and putting on weight.
"I got some work to do."
As Herro sees it, the extra weight will make it easier for him to play his game on both ends of the floor after having an up-and-down sophomore season in which he averaged 15.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists on 43.9% shooting from the field and 36% shooting on 3-pointers.
"Getting stronger, I can get to my spots easier and just being able to defend bigger guys than me," he said. "I want to be able to be as big as the rest of the vets are in the league."
Herro's offseason has included spending a week with USA Basketball's men's select team during pre-Olympic training in Las Vegas.
The Select Team was led by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, which Herro said helped his experience.
"Obviously things came to me a lot faster," he added. "We were doing a lot of the same stuff in USA practices that we do here. It was just a great experience to go out there for four to five days and just have sessions I could compete against guys older than me."
Herro's biggest lesson from his time in Las Vegas, he said, was learning he, "can play with the best of them," with aspirations of playing for the U.S. men's national basketball team in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
"Obviously one day I would love to represent USA as a country and play in the Olympics," Herro said. "I'm sure that's a lot of players' dreams, but obviously there's a lot of work to be done."
As a Milwaukee native who went to high school at Whitnall in Greenfield, Herro was happy for the city after the Bucks won their first NBA championship since 1971 in a title-clinching victory over the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night.
"It's just big for the city," he said. "I remember growing up a Bucks fan, and we were never good ever. For me as a kid growing up, you always wait for a moment for your home team to break through. I think that was huge for the city what they did last night. Just to be a part of Milwaukee growing up, it's good to see that for the city."
And it's a moment Herro hopes to bring to South Florida with the Heat.
"It looked like a lot of fun," he said of the Bucks winning the title. "That's what we're building up to do and I don't plan on going anywhere."