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Miami Heat stop trade pursuit of Houston Rockets' James Harden

The Miami Heat are no longer in pursuit of James Harden, who requested a trade from the Houston Rockets earlier this off-season. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
The Miami Heat are no longer in pursuit of James Harden, who requested a trade from the Houston Rockets earlier this off-season. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 22 (UPI) -- The Miami Heat's quest to acquire Houston Rockets star James Harden has screeched to a halt just before the start of the 2020-21 NBA season.

Sources told the Miami Herald, South Florida Sun Sentinel and ESPN on Monday that the Heat are no longer engaging with the Rockets in trade talks for the 2017-18 NBA MVP.

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Harden has been linked to the Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets this off-season after he requested a trade from the Rockets. He now appears unlikely to be traded before the start of the NBA season on Tuesday.

Harden was asked Monday if his feelings have changed regarding the trade request, but the Rockets star declined to respond to the question.

The Rockets start their campaign with a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday in Houston.

Harden, 31, led the NBA in points per game (34.3) for a third-consecutive season in 2019-20. He is under contract through 2021-22, but has a player option in 2022-23.

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