(via Heat Nation)

Miami’s pursuit of Giannis Antetokounmpo has been well documented over the past few weeks and, even in the aftermath of inking an extension with Bam Adebayo, they remain a significant player in his upcoming free agency.

Interestingly, there is another name emerging as a target for the Heat: former NBA MVP James Harden. With the Beard expressing a desire to leave H-Town, many teams have been named as potential landing spots, including Miami.

In a recent article, Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network named them “dark-horse trade suitors” in the sweepstakes.

Outside of the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers, if there was one team that would pull the trigger and bring in James Harden, it would be the Miami Heat.

Going out and trading for James Harden not only changes this franchise, but solidifies themselves as the team to beat in the NBA. Goran Dragic is not the long-term answer at point guard for the Heat and Bam Adebayo is not a high-level scorer like other bigs in the NBA, leaving Jimmy Butler as the ‘go-to’ guy for the Heat once again. Bringing in James Harden as a one-two punch with Butler would be dangerous for NBA teams because of the pieces around them.

The Bam extension eliminated Miami’s cap flexibility on the free-agent market. But they still have plenty of assets for a trade. Players like Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro would be a great return for Houston.

In Miami, Harden would stretch the floor and create new opportunities for Butler and Bam, while the team’s collective defensive efforts could cover for Harden’s shortcomings on that end of the floor.

So, it is no question that the Heat should trade for Harden. But whether or not they’ll be able to convince the Rockets is another thing entirely.