LaJethro Jenkins and Seerat Sohi discuss a hypothetical blockbuster for the Rockets guard, including if Jimmy Butler should be on the table in the deal.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: No, no, this is the thing. What I think of Miami is, he will stay forever. There's not a city better equipped for a James Harden.
SEERAT SOHI: My curiosity if I'm Miami is, do I want to jeopardize this culture that I've built? And I tend to-- I know--
LAJETHRO JENKINS: Culture is cute.
SEERAT SOHI: I know.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: It's cute. They have a cute culture. You know what I mean? I don't think I-- when you get a-- when you get a chance to get a James Harden. And James Harden, he's 31 but he has an old man game. The way he plays, he's not-- he's not at the rim a lot, booming on people. That's ever so often, you know what I'm saying? He plays under the rim and is still extremely dominant. You know what I'm saying? A lot of it, you know, plays a lot from outside, shoots a lot, you know, a lot of ball handling, getting open in space like that.
And so, like, even though he has a ball in his hands a lot, he's really ball dominant. It's not putting a lot of wear and tear in his body. He's getting 15,16 points from the free throw line. And we can question whether, you know, these free throws even earn half the time. He just-- he's pimped the system, and I respect it. You know what I'm saying? So I don't think his age will affect him like others, you know. So, I think we get a chance to get a Harden. You know, you give it what you got to give up.
SEERAT SOHI: Here's my question. What if it's give us Jimmy Butler [INAUDIBLE]?
LAJETHRO JENKINS: Phew. Why you--
SEERAT SOHI: That's the place where you have to think forever if you're Miami.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: Is Harden a better player than Jimmy? Yes.
SEERAT SOHI: Is he a better playoff player?
LAJETHRO JENKINS: They won't get-- they won't get what they need out of Harden in the moments that they need him. Jimmy isn't scared of [MUTED] thing on the court. I don't think you can give up Jimmy. I don't think you can give up Jimmy, especially after what he did last year. And it's ridiculous-- it may sound ridiculous to say that. But, you know, when you look at the intangibles-- and I hate that. That's like saying culture, and it's a cute thing-- the intangibles, he's gritty. But he's a-- yo, that man is different.
SEERAT SOHI: That stuff is real in-- on occasion, right. Like, I think the word gets thrown out a lot. But I think in Miami's case, it was really a perfect synergy. And that does have an effect, that does make you work a little bit harder. And it does, I think, get you over the hump in certain situations and help you deal with adversity. But Jimmy, man, like, I don't know.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: Can Jimmy play better?
SEERAT SOHI: He's slowly built himself up. He's consistently gotten better every single year in his career. We're now getting to a place where you're-- that's going to come up against age. But like, does he have another gear? Possibly. Probably not on the defensive end. But as far as playmaking goes, that was an aspect of his game that he was still continuing to improve and was already good. But like, that's something that reps get you better at, especially playing with the same teammates.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: They can benefit from Harden, but--
SEERAT SOHI: Yeah.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: Not at the-- I mean, it depends on what it's going to cost you. If it's going to cost you, you know, Bam, or you know, Jimmy--
SEERAT SOHI: Oh you-- Bam's off the-- Bam's off the table.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: Yeah.
SEERAT SOHI: Bam's completely off the table. I think Jimmy-- I think we both agree he should probably be off the table too. I think more-- more than anything else, like, obviously, getting a player like James Harden, like, let's not underrate what that means for any franchise, right. Like, this is a top five player, one of the best scorers ever. I think just for my own personal joy perspective, I kind of like the Heat as they are. I want to see what they do.
LAJETHRO JENKINS: And what are you trying to do? Are you trying to, you know, win regular season games, which, you know, they did. Or you trying to win championships? Like, what are you bene-- I wonder what you truly benefit? What do you truly benefit, because you know what you're going to get out of him in the playoffs. You know what I'm saying? You're good enough to be, you know, to be just as solid during the regular season. He's just James Harden. He's [MUTED] James Harden. You know, how do you-- how do you not trade for James Harden, right. But in this case, it doesn't seem to make sense.