James Harden has expanded his “trade me” list to include the Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics, according to an article published in The Athletic. Kelly Iko and Sam Amick cite “sources” saying the high-scoring guard now deems both franchises worthy of his presence.
Sources told The Athletic that the Houston Rockets guard has recently deemed the Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers among his preferred destinations. Brooklyn and Philadelphia were the first teams to receive that distinction back in mid-December, followed by Miami and Milwaukee being added in the weeks thereafter.
While the Rockets are known to have had trade talks with teams that aren’t on Harden’s list, and Harden still has two seasons remaining on his deal with a player option worth $47.3 million for the 2022-23 campaign, his view of the situation will remain an important factor in any possible scenario. And with no deal in sight and his handling of the situation clearly complicating the trade market, it’s clear Harden has expanded his view of possible landing spots as a way to help facilitate his request. The viability of a possible deal with the Celtics or Trail Blazers is unclear at this time.
Harden has led the NBA in scoring for the past three seasons, winning the MVP award in 2018. He’s also struggled through playoffs flame-outs and was fined $50,000 this week for violating league COVID policies.
In a recent Dave and Dia podcast, Dave Deckard and Dia Miller said, “No” to Harden joining the Trail Blazers, then in a national article Dia doubled down with a “[Word you don’t say on Christmas Eve] No!” when asked whether CJ McCollum, Zach Collins, and two first-round picks was a reasonable exchange for Harden.
What say you? If Portland can get Harden, should they go for it? Would it be Christmas miracle or lump of coal? Weigh in below.