As the old saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
For the disgruntled NBA superstar James Harden, one of the teams where the grass is greener … now it’s Team Green.
While the former MVP tries to force his way out of Houston, he reportedly added Boston to his “favorite destinations” list, according to Athletic’s Sam Amick and Kelly Iko. Trail Blazers are another recent addition to the list, which also includes some of the biggest rivals of the Eastern C Conference: the Nets, 76ers, Heat and Bucks.
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Just because Boston is now on Harden’s list does not mean that Celtics fans should expect an exchange soon. According to the report, “the feasibility of a possible deal with the Celtics or Trail Blazers is unclear at this point.”
Although the Celtics are said to have had exploratory conversations with the Rockets about Harden, the 31-year-old comes at a high price in several ways: his contract, the cost to acquire him … and his drama off the court.
First, the contract: Harden still has two years left and more than $ 85 million left in his existing business, more a $ 47.3 million player option for the 2022-23 season. Then there is the cost. Any potential package for the three-time scoring champion would include a treasure trove of assets, from established players like Jaylen Brown and Marcus to future choices in the first round draft.
Finally, the drama out of court. Where do we start? He is currently in quarantine for four days after attending a private party that allegedly took place at a strip club, violating the league’s health and safety protocols. He was fined $ 50,000 for his actions and the opening of the Rockets’ season against Thunder was postponed. And that is not all. Harden also had a heated exchange with newcomer Jae’Sean Tate in training this week, throwing a ball towards the newcomer.
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All of these reasons mentioned make Harden to end up in Boston seem unlikely – but there is no denying his talent. Harden is an eight-time All-Star who averages 33.7 points per game in the past three seasons.
But while the Celtics are among his “favorite destinations”, that doesn’t mean that Danny Ainge prefers to do whatever it takes to bring Harden to Boston.