While it’s true the Miami Heat technically passed on trading for James Harden, it’s important to note the ridiculous asking price. There was more to it than simply parting ways with Tyler Herro.
Heat president Pat Riley would have had to include Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn, Precious Achiuwa and a slew of future draft picks. They weren’t interested. Of course, that didn’t stop Heat fans from roasting the savvy front-office executive on Twitter following the team’s brutal 120-112 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
Herro’s name was literally trending as memes of Harden flew around the platform more freely than Steph Curry’s game-winning daggers. It got ugly. And the main victim was Herro who finished with only 11 points on a dismal shooting night: 3-of-15 from the field, 2-of-8 from the field.
Compare that to Harden who is averaging 33.5 points per game over his last two contests and 24.5 for the year. He’s shooting 40% from deep since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets back on Jan. 14.
Meanwhile, Herro was relegated to the Heat bench on Feb. 5. He’s averaging 17.0 points in 34.4 minutes per game while shooting 33.9% from deep, down from 38.9% during his breakout rookie campaign.
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‘Massive Trade Chip’ for Bradley Beal
Herro’s name has come up in every possible trade rumor or scenario linked to Miami. The 13th overall pick from the 2019 draft has the highest ceiling on the Heat roster, hence why the franchise is so reluctant to move him. The Athletic’s John Hollinger has been beating the Herro drum for some time going so far as to call the 21-year-old guard a “massive trade chip.” Hollinger proposed sending Herro to the Washington Wizards in a conference-shaking deal for Bradley Beal.
What would that trade look like? It’s unclear, especially since Beal has gone on record (via his agent) saying he doesn’t want to leave Washington. Beal is an “incredibly loyal guy” who doesn’t want to quit on his current team. Still, Bleacher Report speculated on what a Beal trade package might look like for Miami:
Tyler Herro would almost certainly be needed to anchor this deal, but how much else would the Heat put on the table? Without much to offer in the way of draft compensation, they might be forced to part with several other up-and-comers, such as Duncan Robinson, KZ Okpala and rookie first-rounder Precious Achiuwa.
Erik Spoelstra Takes Blame, Look at Everything
Following Wednesday’s loss, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was more than willing to take responsibility for poor decisions and clock mismanagement. Miami failed to call a timeout after Kelly Oubre missed a three-pointer at the end of regulation. There were 9.2 seconds left on the clock. Kendrick Nunn missed at the other end and time expired.
“We’re looking at everything,” Spoelstra said after the game. “You know, eventually the game gets painful enough that we all make the adjustments that are necessary. It became a possession game and I believe in overtime they had five offensive rebounds and we just have to do better. We have to do better.”