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#pounditMonday, December 6, 2021

Former teammate has surprising revelation about James Harden

James Harden on the court

James Harden is now getting buckets for the Brooklyn Nets, but one of his former teammates is making a surprising relevation about where Harden nearly ended up instead.

Appearing over the weekend on a Boston Celtics pregame show, ex-Celtic Kendrick Perkins said that then-president Danny Ainge consulted him last year about the possibility of a Harden-Jaylen Brown swap.

“I remember last year around this time when teams were calling about James Harden and Houston actually wanted Jaylen Brown,” said Perkins, per TalkBasket. “I was on the phone with Danny Ainge for an hour, and I remember how our conversation went. He was like, ‘Hey, Perk, would you trade Jaylen Brown for James Harden?’ And I was like, ‘Danny, you know how I feel about Jaylen Brown, but I would trade him for James Harden.’ He was like, ‘Are you kidding me? He’s not going anywhere. He’s not even 25 and he keeps getting better.’”

Perkins was teammates with Harden on the Oklahoma City Thunder for two seasons from 2011 to 2012. His comments here are surprising because they make it sound like the Rockets were willing to trade Harden to the Celtics. Ainge also apparently had people in his ear telling him to pull the trigger, but his belief in Brown may have been what ultimately nixed the deal.

Though he has since stepped down as president of the Celtics, Ainge has been proven right in the early going this season. Brown put up a ridiculous 46-9-6 line against the New York Knicks during Boston’s season opener and looks poised for his best year yet. Meanwhile, Harden is struggling in several regards so far this season.

The former MVP Harden is still one of the best players in basketball. But the Celtics were probably right to keep their homegrown star who is seven years younger and has plenty of upside of his own.

Photo: Feb 16, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) reacts against the Phoenix Suns at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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