So things have changed, once again, since the last time we updated you the Asik…sweepstakes? Scratch tickets, at the very least.
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Celtics and Rockets are both considering a deal that would send Asik to Boston in exchange for Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a first round pick. Don’t panic: There’s no way the Celtics would send their 2014 pick unprotected, but they may include it as added incentive for the disgruntled Houston big man.
From Woj’s Twitter:
The Boston Celtics are gaining traction in talks to acquire Houston center Omer Asik, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
Serious talks on Boston-Houston package for Asik have included Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a 1st round pick, sources tell Yahoo.
If such a package were to come together, it is unclear if Lee would go to Rockets or be routed to a third team.
More after the jump.Steve Bulpett’s sources added a caveat.
Sources continue to insist Celtics are open to discussion (particularly on Asik), but are sitting tight, not pursuing anything.
This would be quite the haul for the Celtics, especially if we assume there’s no way they would give away their pick unprotected. Bass has been playing admirably (and, frankly, he deserves to be playing for a contender right now), but his role on the team has always been questionable given the logjam at power forward. Houston would be getting a very capable individual defender who could stretch the floor to 18 feet around Dwight Howard as well as the first round pick they’ve been demanding.
Meanwhile, Brad Stevens gets the rim protector his defense has desperately needed — a big capable of blowing up pick-and-rolls as well as stopping opposing players around the basket. Pairing Asik with Sullinger, who is becoming increasingly stretchy on offense as the season has progressed, would allow the Celtics to space the floor nicely on offense. Asik does the bare minimum offensively, and often not even that, but the assumption would be that Sully and Jeff Green would pick up his slack.
Whichever pick would be involved, Boston still has a ton of picks over the next four years (shouts to Billy King!), and if the proposed Asik experiment didn’t work and the Celtics missed the playoffs, they will still likely retain their own pick this year.
The biggest questions will be from people who believe the Celtics should be losing early and often this season, and it’s a valid point. Asik is likely to make this team inconveniently better for people who are salivating over Wiggins and Parker. But the Celtics aren’t likely to catch the Jazz or the Sixers anyway — both have done a much better job of losing games so far this season. A trade like this would fill a gaping roster hole and give the team a chance to compete for the playoffs.
Rondo-Bradley-Green-Sullinger-Asik might be a playoff team, but they wouldn’t be a contender — other moves, perhaps several of them, would have to be made. But Ainge has a ton of assets, cap room in the offseason and experience in building a championship team. All in all, as presented, this seems like a good value for Boston.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.