NBA Rumors: James Harden adds Celtics to list of ‘favored destinations’
As the old saying goes, the lawn is constantly greener on the other side of the fence.
For disgruntled NBA superstar James Harden, one of the teams where the turf is greener … is now the Green Group.
As the former MVP tries to force his escape of Houston, he has supposedly included Boston to his list of “preferred locations” according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Kelly Iko. The Path Sports jackets are another current addition to the list, which likewise includes a few of the C’s greatest Eastern Conference rivals: the Internet, 76ers, Heat, and Bucks.
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Just since Boston is now on Harden’s list doesn’t suggest Celtics fans must anticipate a trade anytime quickly, however. According to the report, “the practicality of a possible handle the Celtics or Path Blazers is uncertain at this time.”
While the Celtics have actually supposedly had exploratory talks with the Rockets about Harden, the 31-year-old comes with a heavy price in many ways: his contract, the cost to obtain him … and his off-the-court drama.
First, the contract: Harden still has 2 years and over $85 million left on his existing offer, plus a $47.3 million player alternative for the 2022-23 season. Then there’s the cost. Any prospective package for the three-time scoring champ would consist of a treasure trove of possessions, from developed players like Jaylen Brown and Marcus to future first-round draft picks.
Lastly, the off-the-court drama. Where do we even begin? He’s currently quarantining for 4 days after participating in a personal celebration which apparently occurred at a strip club, violating the league’s health and safety protocols. He was fined $50,000 for his actions and the Rockets’ season-opener against the Thunder was delayed. Which’s not all. Harden also had a heated exchange with novice Jae’Sean Tate at practice today, throwing a ball in the rookie’s instructions.
All of those aforementioned reasons make Harden winding up in Boston seem not likely– but there’s no rejecting his skill. Harden is an eight-time All-Star who has balanced 33.7 points per game over the last three seasons.
But even though the Celtics are among his “chosen locations,” that doesn’t suggest Danny Ainge would choose to do everything it would take to bring Harden to Boston.