James Harden to Celtics? Not So Fast.

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The NBA offseason rumor mill is in full swing and right now it’s all centered on James Harden.  The Houston Rockets shooting guard has made it clear to the team he wants out. Harden reportedly has asked to be traded to either the Nets or the 76ers. 


Photo courtesy of clutchpoints.com

The rumors circulating out of Brooklyn is that they're willing to throw "the kitchen" sink at the Rockets to create a super team of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Harden.  The rumors of Harden wanting to play in Brooklyn is very reminiscent of when Irving wanted out of Cleveland.  The Cavs ended up moving Irving to the Celtics, so will history repeat itself? 


It'll take some work in order for the Celtics to acquire Harden.  He has two guaranteed years left on his current deal, and a $46.8 million player option for 2022-23. 


Of course, when there’s rumors of a star player in the NBA being traded, the Celtics seem be involved.  The Celtics have some work to do if they even want to entertain the Rockets to trade Harden to Beantown. 


The Celtics are currently looking for a dance partner to trade Gordon Hayward.  He had until yesterday to exercise his option of $34.2 million to opt-in or out for next season.  Instead, the team and Hayward agreed to an extension pushing the deadline back to 5:00 PM ET on Thursday, November 19, per Zach Lowe.

            
The NBA Draft will kick off tonight where it’s expected a Hayward trade will be announced.  The Atlanta Hawks are showing considerable interest in the small forward.  They have $44 million in cap space, so they can facilitate a trade for Hayward.  If the Celtics complete a sign a trade for Hayward, they could acquire a player like Clint Capela.  The Celtics would also get the Traded Player Exception they’d need to use with the year. 

The Celtics have also entertained trading Kemba Walker for additional draft picks.  The Bulls have been connected to the point guard, but nothing has happened on the trade front.  It's almost certain the Celtics would look to move both Walker and Hayward to get the assets required to land the prized Harden. 


All of that would need to come to fruition in order for the Celtics to be in on Harden.  If the Celtics are truly indeed active on talks for the superstar guard, I can only imagine the package it would take to acquire him from Houston.  The Bucks just paid a king's ransom for Jrue Holliday in efforts to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo happy and in Milwaukee. 


Most Celtics beat writers feel as if the Harden talk is exactly that - all talk.  The internet is a fickle beast, and when there are rumors about NBA trades, the Celtics will always been involved.  However, the asking price for Harden might be too much to mortgage the future that Ainge is always trying to protect.

The Rockets are in no hurry to trade Harden and they'll do within their own time frame.  If teams want Harden then they'll truly wait and see what the cost will be for the veteran guard.  The uncomfortable feeling that Houston fans must be feeling knowing their team is about to be blown apart will come at the satisfaction potentially of Green Teamers.  Remember the last time the Celtics were in on a big name player they were trying to woo and land in Boston? 

Ainge will look to make a splash tonight at the NBA Draft; Hayward will be the first domino to fall.  If the Celtics trade Walker too, then we know they're lining up to make a blockbuster deal.  Whatever happens it will be a fun night waiting to see what the Celtics will do.  Excuse me while I refresh Twitter non-stop. 

A deal is on the horizon for Harden and it could come tonight at the NBA Draft.  Imagine all of this Harden to the Nets or Celtics talk and then tonight at the draft the Golden State Warriors come out of nowhere and trade for the star shooting guard. 


Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: James Harden to Celtics? Not So Fast.
James Harden to Celtics? Not So Fast.
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