James Harden's desire for a trade is undeniable at this point. Even after the Rockets went out of their way to trade for John Wall and sign DeMarcus Cousins, the Beard has only doubled-down on his trade demands, even going so far as to broaden his list of desirable destinations.
While not yet seen as a big player in the Harden sweepstakes, the Boston Celtics could emerge as front-runners in the Harden sweepstakes if things in Houston fail to change. With Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker, they've already got a core that can go places in the East.
With Harden, their potential would be limitless. But what would it take to get a deal done? No doubt, a package of young players and draft picks would be necessary -- both of which the Celtics have in abundance.
Houston Rockets Recieve: Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Two Future First-Round Picks
Boston Celtics Recieve: James Harden
Rockets Go Young, Stay Respectable
The Rockets are never going to get a package of equal value for Harden. The 8x All-Star will leave them a hole upon his departure and the only question is how big it will be.
In this deal, the Rockets would get everything they want. The acquisition of Jaylen Brown would add a border-line All-Star to join John Wall, and is a guy who can lead them in the future. At just 24-years-old, he has already shown flashes of stardom and he's got years to develop and hone his skills. Marcus Smart brings depth, energy, and a major boost on defense that will help them remain competitive after losing their star player.
The two draft picks are also crucial in helping the Rockets rebuild their team and replenish some of their stockpile they lost in Harden-era trades.
The Rockets' Championship window may be closing, but it doesn't mean they have to head straight for the Western Conference bunker. This trade would keep them mildly competitive as they build for their future.
Celtics Build Unstoppable Offense With Kemba, Tatum, And Harden
No doubt, taking the ball out of Jayson Tatum's hands is a bold move for Boston, especially since Harden doesn't have the best track record of working with other stars.
Still, a trio of Harden, Tatum, and scoring guard Kemba Walker is one heck of a crew. Between Tatum's shot-making ability, Harden's shooting, and Walker's ball-handling expertise, the Celtics would be near unstoppable on offense. Combined, the three averaged 78.1 points per game last season.
Naturally, questions would emerge about how a relationship between Tatum and Harden would work, especially given the age gap. It's a risk, for sure, but one the Celtics may deem worth taking -- especially when you consider their 10-year drought from the Finals.
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