The Miami Heat were among the teams that expressed a strong interest in acquiring All-Star shooting guard James Harden when he demanded a trade from the Houston Rockets. They may have managed to reach the NBA Finals last year, but their best-of-seven series against the Los Angeles Lakers proved that they might need more star power on their roster in order to have a better chance of capturing the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The potential acquisition of Harden would likely make Heat a more dangerous team in the 2020-21 NBA season, but almost two weeks after he included them on the list of his preferred trade destinations, it seems like Miami is no longer interested in pairing the former MVP with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
In a recent article, Brian Windhorst of ESPN gave a major update regarding the rumors linking Harden to the Heat. After having “cursory talks” regarding a potential blockbuster deal, he revealed that the Heat decided to move on and would no longer pursue “The Beard.” Windhorst also noted the main reason why the trade negotiations between the Heat and the Rockets involving Harden failed to materialize.
“Miami is one of the teams that had the type of package of young prospects that the Rockets have been seeking in their pursuit of a deal for their disgruntled star. Miami has intriguing young players Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn, among others, plus some veteran players on the final years of their contracts who could have been used to facilitate the trade. However, the Rockets have also been looking for significant draft assets in Harden deals and the Heat currently can offer only their 2027 first-round pick in a trade. For those reasons, discussions never got very far on the Rockets’ side, sources said.”
When it came to young prospects, the Heat arguably have some of the best to offer to the Rockets. Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Kendrick Nunn all managed to perform impressively last season. Despite their youth and lack of experience, Herro and Robinson proved that they could already be reliable contributors on a legitimate playoff contender. Meanwhile, though he failed to make a huge impact in the postseason, Nunn earned strong consideration to win the Rookie of the Year award in 2019-20.
Unfortunately for the Heat, young prospects aren’t the only asset that Houston is looking for in the potential blockbuster deal involving Harden. Aside from promising players, they are also demanding the inclusion of an All-Star caliber player and a plethora of future first-round picks. Miami has two All-Stars in Butler and Adebayo, but it is highly unlikely that they would trade either player. Meanwhile, as Windhorst revealed, they only have their 2027 first-round pick that they could use as a trade chip.
Aside from the Heat, other teams who had engaged in negotiations with the Rockets include the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Denver Nuggets. According to a previous The Inquisitr article, the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors are currently emerging as the two new favorite landing spots for “The Beard.”