Rockets Asking Heat for ‘Significantly More’ in James Harden Trade

Duncan Robinson

Getty Heat forward Duncan Robinson is in line for a huge pay day — unless Miami trades him for James Harden.

As everyone in the Miami-Dade area stalks James Harden’s social media accounts for clues on an impending trade, the Houston Rockets are upping the ante. It was believed that a package featuring Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson might be enough to lure Harden to the Miami Heat. Maybe not.

The Rockets are asking for “significantly more” than Herro and Robinson in a potential trade, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. The long-time columnist was responding to a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst indicating that Houston “probably wants Herro and Robinson.”

The Heat sharpshooters are off to a slow start in 2020, but they remain two of the best long-range assassins in the game. Herro shot 38.9% from deep last year while Robinson shot an insane 44.6%. The two guys are averaging 15.8 and 11.0 points per game, respectively. And Miami is shooting 33.7% as a team through five games since the reboot, 22nd in the NBA.

Meanwhile, there is a report out there saying the Heat did put in a “courtesy call” to the Rockets for Harden. The “sticking point” in any potential blockbuster trade has been Robinson. Miami hasn’t been willing to part ways with the undrafted three-point specialist. Remember, Robinson set the franchise record for three-pointers made in a season (270).

Heat Likely to Sign Robinson to Mega-Deal

The Heat have hinted at Robinson being part of their long-term plans on multiple occasions. For starters, the 26-year-old is a perfect fit in Erik Spoelstra’s offense which is predicated on high player movement. They love to space the floor and find open shooters on the wing. That makes Robinson a valuable weapon, perhaps even a “cornerstone” who could be in line for a huge payday.

Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel put the chances of Robinson returning to the Heat next year at “90% or higher.” He only anticipates the team moving him in a trade if it were part of “something bigger.” Robinson has averaged 11.7 points per game for his career while shooting 46.3% from beyond the arc. He also set a Heat franchise playoff record last year by knocking down seven treys in one game.

It should be noted that Robinson has gone on record saying he wishes to remain in Miami for the “foreseeable future.” He went undrafted out of Michigan in 2018 and earned Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year in college. Now Robinson may be looking at a contract of up to $20 million annually in free agency.

Herro Comfortable Playing Both Guard Spots

Herro has been adjusting to life at two different positions for the Heat: point guard and shooting guard. The 6-foot-5 swing player had been primarily used off the ball last year due to his deadly range, but he also has a good handle as evidenced by his 4.0 assists per game. He has no problem being either a scorer or facilitator or whatever else the team needs.

“Honestly, I don’t really tell the difference whether I’m on the ball or off the ball because I think it is positionless,” Herro told reporters, via Sports Illustrated. “I think I just got my rhythm back. I honestly don’t think it has anything to do with point guard or shooting guard.”

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