The NBA season has started, so you might think that maybe, just maybe, we’re done with the Miami Heat trade rumors, especially if they include ne’er-do-wells like Sixers guard James Harden. Well, you’d be wrong.
Despite what would be a notably awful fit from a culture standpoint, and despite no interest shown by the organization at all to this point, the Heat are still being connected to Harden, currently exiled from the team.
This week, CBS Sports has the Heat as a “best partner” for a Harden deal.
The deal, as writer Ameer Tyree put it together, would send Tyler Herro to Philadelphia, with “Caleb Martin and draft capital (to) help sweeten that deal.”
Tyree wrote: “The Miami Heat missed out on the Damian Lillard sweepstakes and it’s clear that they could still use an upgrade at point guard. Harden appears to be the only star on the market and Miami shouldn’t have to fork up as much as they would have for Lillard. The Heat have enough moveable assets and talent to make a deal work.”
James Harden-Miami Heat Rumors a Stretch
There are a number of issues with James Harden-Miami Heat trade rumors, especially ones that involve Herro. In the end, the Heat were not going to go so far as to give up Herro, Martin and draft capital to get Lillard, though it is difficult to know whether they’d have budged on that because they simply did not talk to the Blazers.
If the Heat were not going to give up Martin and draft capital to get Lillard, they certainly would not do it to get Harden.
The only chance that Harden winds up coming to Miami is if the Sixers are willing to take back Kyle Lowry. Miami would not include much more draft capital or other “sweetener” in a deal because, for one thing, they do not want Harden all that badly and, for another thing, the Sixers have no market for Harden right now.
If the Heat wanted Harden, they could offer Lowry and simply wait. The Sixers might get a better offer, and the Heat could add in a draft pick or two to up the ante, but there is no need to do that just yet.
But there is no indication yet that the Heat want Harden. That could change as the season goes on, especially if the offensive woes of the first week linger into the first month. That is possible—the Heat have a grueling early schedule which includes nine out of 10 road games in a 17-day November stretch.
Heat Remain Quiet on Trade Front: Exec
In fact, one league executive told Heavy Sports that the Heat have been mostly quiet on the trade front all offseason.
“I think a lot of people looked at it as, ‘They did not get Dame, they’re going to the next name on the list,’” the exec said. “That’s not the sense around them at all, though. They’ve said they’re happy with this group and that is how they’re approaching it now. They’re quiet.”
There is also a tax issue to contend with. The Heat are only about $2 million below the new, more punitive luxury tax apron.
“They’re going to be a tax team, that’s already set, they were prepared for that, they’re just trying to avoid the repeater tax,” the exec said. “But they have an issue with the (luxury tax) apron. They’ve got holes to fill but they can’t because of that apron. So, anything they do, they’re going to want a little relief from that.”
If the Heat could dump salary in a Harden trade, maybe that would be of interest—could they get the Sixers to take on both Lowry and Duncan Robinson? That’s doubtful. But that’s just another reason why a Harden-to-the-Heat trade is unlikely.