Celtics

Sports Q: Should the Celtics trade for James Harden?

Danny Ainge appreciates the need for legitimate superstars, and Harden is one.

James Harden dribbles against Damian Lillard. Steph Chambers/Getty Images

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Should the Celtics trade for James Harden?

Sure. Does Carsen Edwards and a pair of second-round picks work on the Trade Machine? I’d do that.

All right, so I’m not going to dismiss the idea of trading for Harden out of hand. He’s an incredibly talented player despite an approach so methodical that it can be aesthetically numbing even when he’s filling up the basket. Danny Ainge appreciates the need for legitimate superstars, and Harden is one.

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There was a report a week or so ago that the Celtics looked into it and were put off by some of the intel they got. There was a more recent report, on Friday’s “NBA Countdown” on ESPN by the unimpeachable Adrian Wojnarowski, that the Celtics were “among teams who have had conversations, even recent conversations.” I guarantee you the Celtics have done their due diligence and beyond on Harden, and are tempted by the possibility of acquiring him.

But I don’t think it will happen, and I sure hope it doesn’t. It’s not just that Harden can be a drag to watch even when he’s dropping 45 points. He’d probably cost the Celtics both Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, and I wouldn’t give up Brown – the kind of player and person a franchise should cling to – alone for a player who will make $47.3 million in 2022-23 when he’ll be 33 years old, probably wouldn’t mesh with Jayson Tatum, seems to have let his conditioning lapse, and has acted like a complete moron during the pandemic.

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Harden is a great individual player, and you know which word is doing the heavy lifting in that statement. He wouldn’t help the Celtics win anything, and he’d hurt them for the future. I hope he gets traded to the Nets and feuds with Kyrie Irving. I’ll pass on bringing him here.

But what does everyone else think? Should the Celtics trade for James Harden? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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