Speculation that the Houston Rockets may end up trading James Harden to the Miami Heat grew louder over the weekend.
On Monday, Heat star Jimmy Butler was asked if the chatter surrounding Harden was having any impact on Miami in the lead-up to the season.
“Zero,” he replied.
“We’re in here working. We don’t listen to the outside noise. You can’t help but to hear about it; somebody else is asking you about it. You can’t control any of that,” Butler continued.
“We’re locked in on us. We control what we can control, and we leave all of that other stuff up to everybody else.”
Last week, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that one of the perceived potential road blocks of any prospective Harden-to-Miami deal, Tyler Herro, was not as untouchable as was initially believed.
That said, a separate report suggested that Duncan Robinson’s inclusion in a potential Harden trade is currently being viewed as a roadblock.
“The inclusion of Duncan Robinson is a major sticking point in the pursuit of Rockets guard James Harden,” the report noted.
A follow-up seemingly reinforced that idea.
“The Heat are in active discussions with the Rockets…the team is trying to keep Duncan Robinson out of any package.”
Miami’s interest in Harden is understandable.
Last year, he averaged 34.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists per outing while shooting 44 percent from the field, 35.5 percent from three and 86.5 percent from the free throw line. Adding him to a unit that already made the Finals without him would be a huge win for the organization.
When confronted about Tim Duncan’s sexuality, Danny Green kept it real. https://t.co/A2W9DCA1p3
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 18, 2020
Harden drama notwithstanding, Butler also addressed a number other questions on Monday.
One of the big was ones was how he sees his squad heading into next year.
“That’s an easy question,” he replied.
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 17, 2020
“I think we’re championship-caliber, I think the group that coach Pat [Riley] and Spo [Erik Spoelstra] and Andy [Elisburg] have put together is to get over the hump that we couldn’t reach last year.
“I think everybody’s locked in. We’re going to continually grow, we’re going to continually get better each and every day, and continually learn each other’s strengths, but I think our goal is to win it all.”
Will the Miami be able to sign Harden and find its way back into the NBA Finals?
Time will tell.