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Mar 3, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) high fives fans after a victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

The Boston Celtics may have plans to beat two of their Eastern Conference rivals to the punch for a disgruntled superstar.

With James Harden wanting out of Houston (and with his sights set on Brooklyn for a team-up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant), and with the Sixers looming as a potential option as well, the C’s have reportedly thrown their hat in the ring.

“While the Nets [and] Sixers are believed to be frontrunners for James Harden, Boston Celtics are making a late push for Harden,” Heavy.com’s Brandon Robinson tweeted Tuesday night. “They are trying to flip Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward for picks and young assets that would appeal to Houston, frantically.”

Talk about a scoop-bomb from deep.

The Hayward point is certainly interesting, as the Celtics and the 30-year-old were able to extend their opt-in deadline to Thursday, and with that move seemingly indicating that a trade out of Boston is the more likely resolution to their situation. The Indiana Pacers have been linked to Hayward since the start of the offseason, and have reportedly discussed the ‘framework’ of a potential Hayward-to-Indy deal as recently as last week.

That point about Kemba is certainly interesting, too, as there’s been talk of the Celtics offering up their starting point guard in attempt to acquire the draft picks necessary to make a play for the Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday. Holiday has since been traded to the Bucks, seemingly wiping that off the board, though The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported Tuesday that the Chicago Bulls were among those who inquired on Walker this week.

In Harden, the Celtics would be getting a scoring machine who has averaged at least 30 points per game in three straight seasons, and averaged 34.3 points per game last season (his second-highest nightly average).

But with this being silly season, perhaps it’s best to wait until the ‘bombs’ come from a Shams or Woj before truly revving up the trade machine hypotheticals to land The Beard in Boston.

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