By Paul Moxley
If the Sixers still have interest in trading for Houston Rockets offensive machine James Harden, they have one less competitor.
The Miami Heat no longer have interest, at least for now.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports the Heat have stopped engaging with the Rockets in trade talks for the three-time scoring champion, adding “conversation was never more than cursory.”
Per source, Heat no longer are engaging Rockets when it comes to Harden. Was told conversation never was more than cursory, but that, of course, always is a matter of perspective. Heat made clear on eve of 2018-19 season they were out of Jimmy Butler talks for that season.
A deal between the Heat and Rockets was always going to be a bit challenging.
If Bam Adebayo wasn’t involved in these trade talks, Houston would almost certainly have demanded some combination of Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn (if not all three) plus extensive draft compensation and salary fillers. Such a move would be a seismic shakeup for the Heat just over two months removed from an NBA Finals berth.
As for Heat players, the roster appears unbothered by the speculation. Butler himself said the rumors have “zero” impact on the locker room, suggesting Miami is locked in as it once again looks to contend for an NBA title.
Perhaps Pat Riley is leaving the door open to reconsider a Harden move in the future. But the Heat have a strong core as is, and Riley himself would be remiss not to recognize the burden of trade talks.