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Miami Heat insider offers definitive reason why team pulled out of James Harden trade talks
- Updated: December 23, 2020
Longtime Heat insider Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel explained why the team dispatched itself from trade talks.
“A few things,” Winderman wrote. “It did not happen so fast. Instead it built to the point where there was a line drawn when it came to being kept on the hook by the Rockets. But more than that, Pat Riley is not going to let himself get played. The last time trade talks grew protracted, it wound up getting ugly between Riley and the [Minnesota] Timberwolves’ Tom Thibodeau (although perhaps not as ugly as reported). In that case, the Heat allowed the situation to simmer through the start of the season. This time, it would have become increasingly uncomfortable to keep coming across players such as Tyler Herro, Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk at AmericanAirlines Arena and act like there was nothing going on. So, for now, nothing is going on — until it potentially picks back up at more of a happy medium. No news flash here, but James Harden will not be finishing his career with the Rockets. Now, whether he finishes it this month, this season, or thereafter, remains the question.”
It’s rare when players of Harden’s caliber become available in trade talks.
The former MVP has led the league in scoring in each of the last three seasons. He averaged a whopping 34.3 points, 7.5 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game last season.
Although the Heat could acquire Harden down the line, they are now most focused on the 2020-21 season. The organization was two wins away from capturing a title last season.
The Heat open up the 2020-21 regular season against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.