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Rumor: What Heat were willing to offer Rockets in James Harden trade

James Harden, Rockets, Heat

The Miami Heat were a potential destination for Houston Rockets guard James Harden when trade rumors surrounding one of the most dangerous scorers were at their peak. While the Heat have backed off the pursuit of Harden for now, they were open to shaking things up to get Harden, but only at a certain price.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, this is what Miami was willing to offer:

“According to an NBA source in regular contact with the team, the Heat was open to offering a couple of its young players — potentially combined with a 2025 first-rounder if OKC unlocks the 2023 pick,” Jackson wrote. “Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk would be needed to facilitate the trade from a cap standpoint, because of trade restrictions involving five other Heat veterans.”

Harden, who’s averaging 29.4 points in five games so far, requested a trade before the season began, but nothing has come to fruition. The Heat are on his list of preferred destinations, and they could put together an intriguing trade package if they want to do it.

But just what would Miami be willing to give up after going to the NBA Finals as a fifth seed in the bubble? When Jackson says the Heat were open to offering young players, the assumption is Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson as the centerpieces, though the Rockets clearly want much more than that. Rookie Precious Achiuwa and youngster Kendrick Nunn are also potential trade chips. It’s unlikely that Bam Adebayo would be on the table given he’s just 23 years old and just signed a max extension after an All-Star campaign.

The Heat are off to a sluggish 3-4 start to this season, with the offense struggling. If Miami can’t turn things around in a big way, perhaps the franchise revisits a James Harden trade.