Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden has been frequently mentioned in trade rumors in the 2020 offseason. With their inability to contend for the NBA title, multiple signs are pointing out that “The Beard” would consider following the footsteps of other stars and start finding his way out of Houston this fall. One of the most intriguing landing spots for Harden is the Miami Heat.
In a recent article, Orestis Rantis of Fansided’s Hoops Habit suggested a potential blockbuster deal between the Rockets and the Heat that would send Harden to South Beach this offseason. In the proposed scenario, the Heat would be sending a package that includes Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, Kelly Olynyk, Andre Iguodala, and a 2022 first-round pick to the Rockets in exchange for Harden.
Sacrificing two young and promising talents like Herro and Nunn to acquire Harden would definitely be worth it for the Heat. Though it would still take time for him to acclimate to working with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, Rantis believes that Harden would be an incredible fit for the Heat.
“The Miami Heat have a roster full of capable 3-point shooters, a must-have in every James Harden-led team. His uncanny scoring talent attracts multiple defenders, leaving shooters open in the corners. Don’t forget that Harden led the league in assists in 2016-17 too. From a defensive standpoint, a lot has been said about The Beard. Even though he is not the terrible defender we all knew him to be, his defensive skills still need much to be desired. Luckily for him, Jimmy Butler, Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Bam Adebayo are all there to rotate and help him when things get rough.”
The successful acquisition of Harden would significantly improve the Heat’s offensive efficiency that rank No. 9 in the league, scoring 110.0 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. He would give them a very reliable scoring option, playmaker, an elite three-point shooter, and someone who could step up and take charge of the offense when the opposing team’s defense is focused on Butler.
Pairing Harden with Butler and Adebayo would not only help the Heat defend their throne in the Eastern Conference, it would also give them a realistic chance of beating the Los Angeles Lakers in a best-of-seven series if they meet each other again in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Meanwhile, the suggested trade would only make sense for the Rockets if they want to immediately start a full-scale rebuild in the post-Harden era. Nunn and Herro would give them two promising players that could be part of the core of the next title-contending team that they would try to build in Houston. Iguodala and Olynyk could serve as mentors to their young players and if they perform well next season, they could be flipped for future draft assets before next year’s trade deadline.