• The Heat put on hold any potential plans for James Harden
  • Butler says no Miami player affected by impending James Harden trade
  • Miami could still pull a surprise deal involving Harden

The 2020-21 NBA season is all set to kick-off and James Harden will remain with the Houston Rockets for now.

No team has come up with a workable deal with the Rockets as of this writing. Also, the Miami Heat have allegedly given up on the 2018 NBA MVP but probably not completely.

According to sources cited by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami is no longer engaging Houston when it comes to Harden. The conversation was said to be nothing more than cursory.

Hence, this could be a temporary pause as far as interest in "The Beard" with the Heat focusing on their 2020-21 campaign.

Miami is set to open the season when they visit the Orlando Magic on Dec. 23 at the Amway Center. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. E.T.

Regardless, the Heat have a history of doing the same in the past and end up coming with something huge. The case of Jimmy Butler is a perfect example.

In 2018, Miami took itself out of the Butler talks. He got traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Philadelphia 76ers instead. However, the Heat executed a sign-and-trade deal for the 31-year-old All-Star.

Hence, it could be a way for the Heat to set aside any plans for Harden for now. The main reason is to do away with distractions, particularly among young players who have been mentioned to be part of the deal. That includes Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn among others.

Franchise player Butler himself assured that these trade talks have had no impact on the team. He stressed that they do not listen to outside noise although anything can happen.

Perhaps, the only one who has an answer to that is Heat president Pat Riley. Like most top brasses, he is open to anything.

The deal for Butler was questioned last season, but the investment paid off handsomely. The Heat, hardly given a chance by pundits, made it to the NBA Finals.

The Heat not only made believers out of doubters but proved that you don’t have to spend heftily on talent to be successful in the NBA. Better yet, the young stars from last season have gained experience, making Miami one of the unpredictable teams to watch for the 2020-21 wars.

James Harden Houston Rockets
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 12, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Michael Reaves/Getty Images