Could James Harden Become an Option for the Miami Heat?by Jacari McRae December 9, 2020 0 comments
James Harden wants out of Houston and it appears he’s doing all he can to make that clear. On Tuesday, ESPN reported Harden told the Houston Rockets before training camp “that he would be open to a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers or possibly other contenders.” The 76ers were listed as one of Harden’s preferred destinations, which reportedly included the Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat.
Could the Heat jump in the Harden sweepstakes?
After coming off a trip to the NBA Finals, Miami could be a star player away from winning it all. When it comes to pursuing disgruntled stars, Miami has never been afraid to take a big chance in the trade market. They made the move for Shaquille O’Neal back in 2004 and acquired Jimmy Butler through a sign-and-trade last summer. However, a move for Harden could be tricky.
If the Heat were to entertain trade talks for Harden, they would have come up with a package that will entice the Rockets. With Harden making over $40 million over the next three seasons, the team could match salaries by trading the expiring contracts of Kelly Olynyk and Andre Iguodala, plus Tyler Herro, and some fillers. They would also need more draft picks, which would require the Oklahoma City Thunder to unprotect one of Miami’s draft picks. But is that still enough for Houston?
Another thing to ask is would a core of Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Harden work together. Throughout his Houston career, Harden has been known as a ball stopper. He would sometimes hold the ball for most of the Rockets’ offensive possession and shoot at the end of the shot clock. Miami’s ball movement has been a key part of their resurgence. Every player on the roster is unselfish and they don’t care who has the best stats. Would Harden be willing to buy into Miami’s unselfish style? That’s a question the front office will have to consider.
A potential deal for Harden could depend on what Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokoumpo decides to do with his supermax extension. He has until December 21 to sign the extension. If Giannis decides to sign his supermax extension, then Miami will likely pivot to the trade market. And if that happens, we could see more Harden-Miami rumors. But for now, we’ll watch and see how the situation unfolds.