untitled-design-2020-08-31t210845-820.jpg
USATSI

With just about 24 hours until the 2020-21 NBA season begins, James Harden remains a member of the Houston Rockets. It's no secret that he'd prefer if that wasn't the case, but the Rockets have remained steadfast in demanding a substantial return -- an All-Star-level player plus multiple prospects and picks -- before considering any trade. To this point, such a deal hasn't materialized, leaving things at a stalemate. 

While we don't know where Harden will end up being traded -- something that seems to be only a matter of time at this point -- we do know one place he won't be going. The Miami Heat have pulled out of trade talks with the Rockets, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel added that Miami only ever had "cursory" talks with Houston. 

This is another potential destination for Harden off the board, and it really isn't all that surprising. Given the Rockets' demands, the Heat are stuck in the same boat as the Nets, where they just don't have the pieces to put together an enticing enough trade package. 

Obviously they aren't including Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo, and after that the best young player they have is Tyler Herro. And sure, he was impressive during the Heat's run to the Finals inside the bubble, but there's absolutely no way he can be the centerpiece of a trade for an MVP candidate. 

It also doesn't help that the Heat wouldn't be able to offer much in the way of draft capital. For one, they already owe multiple first- and second-round picks to other teams through previous trades, and with or without Harden are going to be good enough that any picks they do have are going to be toward the end of the first round. 

You have to make the call any time a superstar becomes available, and the Heat did their due diligence, but it was always going to be a longshot for them to get seriously involved in the Harden sweepstakes.