November 19, 2020 | 5:14 PM
It appears that it’s time to cross the Celtics off the list for potential James Harden suitors.
The Celtics researched Harden’s situation but were “strongly advised to keep away” from Harden, a Western Conference source told former Celtics beat reporter Steve Bulpett.
“The word on how things slipped apart in Houston didn’t paint a lot of people in a very good light,” Bulpett added in his report.
I’m told from a western source @Celtics actually did some research on James Harden to decide if they should pursue a trade discussion… They were strongly advised to keep away. The word on how things slipped apart in Houston didn’t paint a lot of people in a very good light.
— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) November 19, 2020
Harden declined a $50 million per year extension from the Rockets and told Houston’s ownership he’s focused on a trade to the Brooklyn Nets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week. Harden’s desire to be traded comes after his teammate Russell Westbrook reportedly requested a trade last week.
Harden, an eight-time All-Star who won the NBA’s MVP award in 2018, is likely to give Houston a significant haul if he’s traded. The Rockets are reportedly looking for a “proven, young star” as the centerpiece in any Harden trade as well as draft picks.
Former NBA executive and ESPN insider Bobby Marks believed that the Celtics could make the best reasonable offer for Harden. While Marks said that trading Jayson Tatum probably wouldn’t be necessary, the Celtics would probably have to give up Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and three first-round draft picks to get Harden.
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