The Miami Heat were all but prepared to enter the 2020-21 season, now they find themselves in a semi-delicate state of emergency just before that happens. James Harden’s situation with the Houston Rockets doesn’t appear to be smoothing itself over any time soon, which makes the environment there even more awkward as the season approaches.
As such, it was reported on Thursday that Harden has expanded his trade list to include both the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks. It also appears that the Heat have fielded calls about potentially trading for Harden, though the holdup at the moment seems to be Miami’s unwillingness to include Tyler Herro in any deal for Harden.
To be fair, Herro will surely develop into a top talent as the years progress. He had a decent rookie year coming off the bench and could work his way into the starting lineup this season given his level of play. Even so, this is Harden that’s being discussed. Aside from major stars that Miami will surely like to keep out of the deal, practically anyone else should be up for grabs if the Heat plan to contend once again.
Matching Harden’s deal could be tricky, but the following players should get the job done.
Heat receive: James Harden
Rockets receive: Tyler Herro, Kelly Olynyk, Duncan Robinson, Andre Iguodala and Kendrick Nunn; two first-round picks
Yes, it’ll require a massive haul to bring in Harden for monetary and value purposes. If the Heat are wanting to hold onto Adebayo and Butler, everyone else is is a moveable asset. Herro is the golden piece for the Rockets. They’ll have to practice patience with the 20-year-old as he continues his development.
The Rockets would also get a young sharpshooter in Robinson, who dramatically showed his worth during last season. Robinson, like Herro, still has a long ways to go in terms of development, but both players could become significant forces in the years to come. Robinson finished last season connecting on 44 percent of his 3-pointers, putting him at fourth place in terms of 3-pointers made last season.
While the Heat would be giving up a decent amount role players, they’d keep their primary core intact. Adebayo is someone they’d like to keep around for the long term after offering him a max rookie extension. Butler was responsible for the Heat making it to the NBA Finals, which was apparent by his dog-like relentlessness with every performance.
Now, Butler can share the backcourt with Harden and Dragic, which gives them an interesting strength of talents in a variety of ways. While Harden primarily works his game from 3-point range, Butler is more of a mid-range specialist that also attacks the paint. Adding in Dragic’s mixture of both players makes them a dangerous trio.