Getty James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets warms up before game seven of the Eastern Conference second round against the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center on June 19, 2021.
After getting swept in the first round of the playoffs, it’s clear that Miami needs to make big changes must be made in order to develop a championship-caliber team while All-Star Jimmy Butler is still in his prime.
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Swartz wrote, “While a deal likely would have gutted the roster outside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Miami Heat could have made a competitive offer for Harden before he was traded to the Nets. Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson would have headlined any package going out, with Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk needed to make the money work.”
“As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote, the Heat weren’t going to clean house for Harden:”
But the Rockets want more. Even if the Heat offered Herro, Robinson, Precious Achiuwa, KZ Okpala, Iguodala, Olynyk and first-round picks in 2025 and 2027, I’m not sure that would be enough to satisfy the Rockets. Perhaps it would be, but that’s no sure thing. That’s all moot, for now, because the Heat isn’t willing to give up that much.
While Bleacher Report calls the Heat’s decision to not trade everything away for Harden, the asking price was ridiculous. Considering what the Houston Rockets wanted from the Heat, there’s little question that Miami did the right thing in saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Swartz said, “Miami should have been more aggressive to get another star with Butler still in his prime, even if it meant sacrificing a part of the future.”
Yes, trading “a part of the future” makes sense. However, the Heat were asked to trade 40% of their roster for Harden. That was never going to happen and stands as the reason the Heat, while remaining engaged with the Rockets, never came close to pulling off a trade.
Despite the Insane Asking Price, Twitter Roasted Miami for Keeping Herro Instead of Trading for Harden
If all the Houston Rockets wanted in exchange for Harden was Herro, Miami would’ve absolutely pulled the trigger on the trade. However, that not being the case. Despite this fact, fans on Twitter slammed the Heat for keeping Herro over Harden.
I’ll never forgive yal for the James Harden Tyler Herro bullshit.
— Eddie Gonzalez (@bansky) February 18, 2021
Making matters worse, while Harden continued to play at an All-Star level with the Nets, Herro suffered a sophomore slump. Now, going into the offseason, Herro remains the Heat’s biggest trade chip in the hunt for a third big name.
Udonis Haslem Reveals He Was ‘Relieved’ Harden Didn’t Come to Miami
It’s not that Udonis Haslem doesn’t like or respect Harden, the 41-year-old veteran was relieved Harden didn’t join him in South Beach because he wouldn’t be able to keep up with former Rockets star off the court.
While appearing on The Complex Sports podcast on January 19, Haslem said that at first he “couldn’t believe it” when Harden mentioned the Heat as one of his preferred trade destinations. “I dropped my damn phone.”
“As much as I wanted it to work out,” Haslem continues. “In my mind, I was like no way,” noting that he knew there was no way Harden would actually make it Miami.
While one of the hosts suggests that Harden “is a fit for the nightlife and that culture, not necessarily the Heat culture,” Haslem shook his head in agreement. “I would’ve aged 15 years trying to be his OG down here,” the Florida Gators alum noted.
Haslem, who just wrapped up his 18th season with the Heat, knows Harden is famous for his party lifestyle. “He would’ve had to move me in the guest house!” he joked.