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Harden-to-Celtics scuttlebutt is ludicrous - or maybe not


It had to happen. James Harden is unhappy in Houston, and Celtics boss, Danny Ainge is always on the lookout for dissatisfaction within rival teams to possibly work a deal.

On first glance, Boston acquiring Harden just seems like a bad idea. And it well could be. The former MVP and 8-time All-Star is a ball-dominant scoring machine who averaged 34.3 pointers per game last season. Pairing him with another volume scorer, Kemba Walker, in the backcourt doesn't help the Celtics defense whatsoever, and it would significantly lessen any chances of Brad Stevens' wish for more team play coming to fruition.

But here's the argument for putting The Beard in Green. What if Kemba Walker's knee issues severely limit his effectiveness this season - a distinct possibility. It was vividly apparent that the Celtics missed their starting point guard in the very-brief, 2-game Exhibition season. Kemba simply draws a lot of attention with his offensive moves.

Stevens simply has no replacement for what Walker brings to his team. Some analysts truly believe that - no Kemba, no Finals. And they may be correct. 

Harden will earn $41.3 million this season and has a player option ($47.4M) in the final season (2022-23) of his present contract, at which time he will be 33 years old. Assuming Jaylen Brown would be the focal point of any deal for Harden, Brown's earnings this year ($22.7M) don't come close for salary-matching purposes. That would appear to be the potential killer for any such deal going down, but it can't be counted out entirely if Ainge sees a real shot at a Title this season. 

The Beard may be the most-omnipotent scorer that you will see in today's NBA game, and his 7.5 assists/game, 6.6 RPG and 1.8 SPG last season show there is more to his game. He was the League's assist leader in the 2016-17 season, handing out 11.2-per-game. If the reports of Ainge trying to trade Walker this off-season are even partially true, the scuttlebutt of a Harden-to-Boston deal may not be so far fetched. 


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