Celtics reportedly had strong interest in James Harden
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) celebrates a three point basket during the first half against the Boston Celtics quarter at TD Garden. Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics weren’t thought to be heavily involved in the James Harden sweepstakes earlier this season, but it may be that they simply kept their interest rather quiet.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Celtics’ “level of interest and involvement” in Harden trade talks was greater than what GM Danny Ainge was willing to publicly admit. However, the Celtics still balked at the Houston Rockets’ asking price, which likely would have involved giving up All-Star wing Jaylen Brown to start with.

The Celtics were a fairly late entry onto Harden’s trade list, and there was some reported interest on the team’s end. Even though the links weren’t strong at the time, it makes sense that Ainge would have given a strong look at a superstar given his penchant for being aggressive at times.

At 19-17, the Celtics have been one of the season’s biggest disappointments so far. However, due to the desire to keep Brown and Jayson Tatum in the fold, any trade additions will probably be less significant.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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