Celtics

76ers' Daryl Morey fined for tampering after Harden tweet

Celtics

The NBA didn't find Daryl Morey's innocent tweet about James Harden very innocent.

The league has fined the Philadelphia 76ers' president of basketball operations $50,000 for violating its anti-tampering rule.

The NBA cited Morey's since-deleted tweet from Dec. 20 in which he celebrated the one-year anniversary of James Harden breaking the Houston Rockets' all-time assists record.

Twitter/@dmorey

Even if Morey had no ulterior motives, the context is impossible to ignore: His 76ers are considered a favorite to land Harden in a trade with Houston, where Morey worked as general manager before leaving for Philly in October.

The Celtics apparently are also in the Harden sweepstakes, as the All-Star guard reportedly added Boston to his list of preferred trade destinations last week.

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The C's likely would have to part with Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart in a hefty trade package for Harden, who comes with red flags after also being fined $50,000 for violating the NBA's COVID-19 protocol.

Harden dropped 44 points Saturday in his season debut, though, reminding the league of his immense talent.

Boston still is a long shot to acquire Harden ahead of the NBA trade deadline, but the team won't complain about a rival GM being fined amid the Harden pursuit.