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Rockets: 3 trades that send James Harden to the Miami Heat

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 20: James Harden #13 and PJ Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets arrive prior to the game between the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets at American Airlines Arena on December 20, 2018 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 20: James Harden #13 and PJ Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets arrive prior to the game between the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets at American Airlines Arena on December 20, 2018 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Tyler Herro of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Tyler Herro of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Trade number 3

This package comes down to how the Rockets perceive Tyler Herro as a player. The 20-year-old out of the University of Kentucky had a fantastic rookie season and impressed in the playoffs, but his ceiling remains a question mark.

Herro is the type of player that looks better upon viewing than when you look at his raw statistics. The reason he pops so much through the eye-test is that he is able to score from anywhere on the court.

Last season Herro shot 43.3-percent from three to ten feet from the rim, 42.5-percent from 10 to 16 feet, 42.2-percent from 16 feet to the 3-point line, and 38.9-percent from 3-point range. None of those numbers are elite but none of them are ghastly, which makes him a credible threat from anywhere on the court.

The areas of concern with Herro’s offensive game are his ability to get to and finish at the rim and his ability to generate free-throw attempts. Only 12.2-percent of his shots came at the rim and he finished them 58.4-percent of the time.

His free-throw attempt rate of 15.9-percent was 39-percent worse than the league average. A player’s ability to get to the rim has an outsized effect on how many free-throws they can generate.

Almost all elite offensive players use shots at the rim and free-throws as the basis for their offensive game. At the moment, Herro is an exciting offensive prospect but he’ll either need to become elite from everywhere on the court or figure out a way to get to the rim with more consistency to become an All-Star.

Herro was a rookie which means growth in these areas is definitely in the cards, but how much growth remains a question. The player that Herro is now, is an inefficient high-volume scorer that fans overvalue compared to their actual ability to help their team win games.

Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk are primarily in here for salary purposes but are quality NBA veterans that would give the Rockets a tremendous amount of lineup flexibility and one of the deepest rosters in the league. The other interesting piece in this trade is Kendrick Nunn.

Nunn, like Herro, was a rookie last season and he showed a tremendous amount of promise before struggling in the postseason. Every concern voiced over Herro is present with Nunn and he will be 25-years-old this season.

His upside is an instant-offense sixth-man, which is valuable but hardly makes him a trade chip worthy of snagging James Harden. Would this group plus two first-round picks be enough to land Harden from the Rockets?

The Rockets would listen to this trade, laugh a little, and say we’re going to need more. Herro has potential but it isn’t James Harden type potential, let alone Michael Porter Jr. or Ben Simmons level upside.

If the Heat are able to pull this deal off it will be the trade of the century and Rockets fans should encircle the Toyota Center with pitchforks and expel the oaf that sent it into the league office. However, the Heat have a chance to best this deal and make a serious offer for Harden.

Next: Trade number 2

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