Will James Harden be the next NBA superstar involved in a blockbuster trade? It's possible, but if he does move, don't expect the Houston Rockets guard to land with the Boston Celtics.
According to longtime Celtics/NBA reporter Steve Bulpett, the C's did research on Harden to determine if a trade was worth discussing, but the information wasn't good enough to go any further.
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
This isn't a surprise. Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald also reported Tuesday that the C's had "no interest" in Harden.
Let's also not forget that the situation in Houston doesn't look very good.
Harden and future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul lasted only two years together before the Rockets shipped CP3 and multiple first-round picks/swaps to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for star point guard Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster deal last year.
Westbrook reportedly wants to be traded after just one season in Houston. Harden, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, "wants to be on a contender elsewhere, and Brooklyn and Philadelphia are believed to be his top desired trade destinations."
The asking price for Harden, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, is "A proven, young star as a centerpiece along with a massive picks package, according to sources."
It makes no sense for the Celtics to part with their best young players and give up significant draft capital to acquire a 31-year-old point guard who dominates the ball and makes more than $40 million per season for two more years (plus a 2022-23 player option).
Harden is an excellent player who has led the league in scoring three consecutive seasons, but he's not a good fit for the Celtics.
The Celtics don't require major roster changes to reach the 2021 NBA Finals, and they did well to add much-needed outside shooting in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night.