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Rumor: Heat move on from James Harden trade talks

Heat, James Harden trade

The Miami Heat no longer have interest in pursuing James Harden, at least for now.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports the Heat have stopped engaging with the Houston Rockets in trade talks for the three-time scoring champion, adding “conversation was never more than cursory.”

However, Winderman clarified the Heat could still get involved later down the line, if they so choose.

It’s also noted that Miami had initially removed itself from conversations regarding a Jimmy Butler trade in 2018. The Minnesota Timberwolves dealt Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers, only for the Heat to execute a sign-and-trade with Philadelphia last offseason.

It appears Miami would prefer to “push such speculation aside” until the season begins, as stated.

A deal between the Heat and Rockets was always going to be a bit challenging.

If Bam Adebayo wasn’t involved in these trade talks, Houston would almost certainly have demanded some combination of Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn (if not all three) plus extensive draft compensation and salary fillers. Such a move would be a seismic shakeup for the Heat just over two months removed from an NBA Finals berth.

As for Heat players, the roster appears unbothered by the speculation. Butler himself said the rumors have “zero” impact on the locker room, suggesting Miami is locked in as it once again looks to contend for an NBA title.

Perhaps Pat Riley is leaving the door open to reconsider a Harden move in the future. But the Heat have a strong core as is, and Riley himself would be remiss not to recognize the burden of trade talks.