James Harden adds Celtics to preferred teams, but do they want him back?

Justin Quinn
·2 min read

The Boston Celtics have been added to the slowly-growing list of desirable trade destinations of Houston Rockets star James Harden according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Kelly Iko, but given all that has happened of late with the disgruntled guard one has to begin to wonder whether those trade destinations want him back.

To be clear, this isn’t a talent or even a fit issue with the Houston star — reportedly coddled by his own organization, Harden may well be poisoning not only the Rockets but potential landing spots for him to be traded to as well. Take the Celtics, for example — just a little more than a season removed from the fallout of a high-profile star, could the franchise realistically weather a similar fallout twice?

And even that comparison is a poor one.

As quirky and occasionally unbearable as Kyrie Irving’s exit was from Boston, his behavior did not force games to be canceled.

Nor did it put the lives and livelihoods of his peers at risk as Harden did, flouting not only league protocol with his presence in a gentlemans club, but putting people he may never even meet at risk by eschewing even the most basic precaution of facemasks.

Irving wanted a change, and he went for it as was his right — albeit in a poorly-managed manner from a public relations perspective.

Via a combination of luck and gravitas, Harden has avoided significant fines and suspension, and has likely left such a bad taste in the mouths of his own fanbase that they may well settle for a bargain deal just to get him out of their hair (and future).

But hopefully front offices will keep Harden’s willful negligence in mind along with their pursuit of titles; regardless of how much the Arizona State product wishes he were playing for another team, no first-rate organization should think about trying to get a player whose selfish behavior threatens so much.

Perhaps, given the list’s continued growth, none do.

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