They should pursue Love/ Barnes over James Harden

Taking a look at why the Miami Heat should be pursuing Kevin Love or Harrison Barnes over James Harden due to Jimmy Butler’s limitations

The Miami Heat spent most of the 2020 offseason setting the table to acquire another star in 2021. Miami signed Avery Bradley, Goran Dragic, and Meyers Leonard to 1 year deals with a team option this offseason, which kept the door open for them to participate in 2021 free agency.

But James Harden‘s desire to leave Houston because they didn’t hire Ty Lue as their next head coach forced Miami to speed up their timetable. According to Barry Jackson of Miami Herald, the team has decided to include Tyler Herro in the package if Houston is serious about trading Harden.

How the Miami Heat could use James Harden

But if Miami acquires Harden, how should they use him? The answer is as a floor spacer because of the regression in Jimmy Butler’s skill set. Butler shot a career-low 33.7 percent outside the restricted area on eight attempts per game.

Butler’s shooting decline is related to a sprained right wrist he sustained in January of 2019. Before the injury, he converted 37.6 percent of his field goals outside the restricted area on 9.7 attempts per game. After the injury, he has shot 33.9 percent outside of the restricted area on 8.1 attempts per game.

Consequently, Butler can be effective by attacking the basket now. He drove to the basket 15.5 times per game during the 2019-20 regular season, which helped him get 5.0 field goal attempts in the restricted area.

The 5.0 field goal attempts accounted for 38.2 percent of his shots during the regular season. Butler capitalized on his ability to get in the restricted area. He shot 63.9 percent in the restricted area, which allowed him to generate 6.4 points per game, 32.2 percent of his scoring output.

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