NBA Rumors: James Harden Trade Could Give Celtics ‘Ticket To Championship Contention,’ Per ‘Bleacher Report’

Since he demanded a trade from the Houston Rockets, All-Star shooting guard James Harden continues to be linked to legitimate title contenders that want to boost their chances of capturing the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2020-21 NBA season, including the Boston Celtics. The Celtics haven’t shown much indication that they are planning to trade for “The Beard,” but as of now, they are among the few teams that possess enough assets to convince the Rockets to engage in a blockbuster deal. In a recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report talked about a potential blockbuster trade involving Harden and the Celtics.

In the proposed scenario, the Celtics could send a package that includes Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2024 top-five protected first-round pick to the Rockets in exchange for Harden. Buckley believes that going all-in for “The Beard” would make a lot of sense for Boston. Aside from having the opportunity to add a three-time scoring champion and a former MVP to the roster, Buckley thinks that the successful acquisition of Harden would give the Celtics a “ticket to championship contention.”

“Celtics fans probably hate this, which is fine. When you’re watching talents like Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart up close on a nightly basis, it’s easy to get attached. But those players aren’t James Harden, a three-time scoring champ, MVP and ticket to championship contention. Defenses already can’t handle Harden on his own. Imagine how they’d fare trying to limit him, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker, who’d all be operating under the watch of Brad Stevens.”

Sacrificing Brown, Smart, and a couple of future first-rounders would definitely be worth it for the Celtics if it means acquiring a player of Harden’s caliber. His arrival in Boston would tremendously improve their performance on the offensive end of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option, playmaker, and a legitimate threat from beyond the arc. Last season, the 31-year-old shooting guard averaged 34.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.8 steals while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from the three-point range, per ESPN.

Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker would likely need to make certain adjustments with their game to accommodate Harden in Boston, but once they find the perfect on-court chemistry, the Celtics would undeniably be a huge headache to other Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, and the Milwaukee Bucks next season.

Meanwhile, the potential deal would also be beneficial for the Rockets as it would allow them to rebuild while remaining a competitive team in the loaded Western Conference. Brown would give them a young and promising talent that could be the centerpiece during the rebuild of the next title-contending team in Houston. Meanwhile, Smart would provide them with a quality veteran capable of defending multiple positions. With the projected core of Brown, Smart, John Wall, Christian Wood, and DeMarcus Cousins, the Rockets could still make a huge noise in the Western Conference next year.

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