The Rockets self-imposed deadline of trading big man Omer Asik is tomorrow, which means the trade talk surrounding the center is starting to heat up. Unlike the Rajon Rondo trade rumors yesterday, these trade talks are legitimate, as CelticsHub has confirmed reports by Marc Stein of ESPN.com and others, that the C’s are still very much in the mix for the big man.
Different people are saying different things at this juncture regarding where exactly Boston is as far as discussions go, so let’s run down the latest noteworthy items from Stein’s latest report:
As a result, the Celtics now are widely regarded as the strongest rivals to the Philadelphia 76ers in terms of likely destinations for Asik, with many rival executives expecting the final form of a trade built around the 7-footer from Turkey to feature at least three teams.
One possible scenario that has emerged, sources say, is a three-way trade in which Boston lands Asik, Cleveland absorbs the contract of Celtics forward Jeff Green and Houston scores no fewer than one of the future first-round picks it covets for surrendering Asik. Other players would have to be involved in such a trade to make the salary-cap math work, but it’s the sort of trade that would fall in line with Cleveland’s well-known focus on upgrading its options at small forward.
The Cavaliers pursued Green in free agency two summers ago before Green re-signed with Boston and, as ESPN.com reported Sunday , have shown far more interest recently in finding a new small forward than going ahead with the rumored Varejao-for-Asik swap.
ESPN.com reported Sunday that Celtics forward Brandon Bass is another possible trade target for the Rockets, despite the fact that his contract runs for one more year than Hawes’ deal.
Sources say the Rockets are conflicted about taking back Philadelphia’s Thaddeus Young or the Celtics’ Green because each player has two more seasons left on his contract after this one.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald also have more on a potential deal
Via Yahoo Sports:
As the Houston Rockets move to the cusp of trading disgruntled center Omer Asik, Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland and Philadelphia have emerged as the frontrunners to land him, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Another team, deemed a “wildcard” by one league source, has teetered on the edge of negotiations and could become more seriously involved before the Rockets’ self-imposed deadline of Friday to complete a deal.
Houston is pursuing a power forward in a deal, with candidates including Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Philadelphia’s Thaddeus Young, Boston’s Brandon Bass and Jeff Green and Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao.
Anytime you have a wildcard team involved, you know things are getting interesting!
For a more local perspective, here’s Bulpett’s take from today’s Boston Herald, which indicates the Celtics are less in a rush to make a deal:
“We’re waiting for an opportunity that makes sense for another team and for us,” said Ainge, the Celts president of basketball operations. “We’re looking to see if there is a win-win out there. But there really isn’t much of anything happening right now. It’s December.”
The Celtics, indeed, tried to get in the running for Houston center Omer Asik and had some talks along those lines, but unless they can get involved as part of a multiple-team transaction, it appeared that the Rockets weren’t interested in what the Celts might be offering.
And, no, Rajon Rondo’s name has not come up in any significant way in this or any other scenario. Word is that Ainge is open to discussing the availability of all his players, but the price tag for some is essentially prohibitive.
So you have a little bit of everything there. One thing is clear through it all, is that there definitely have been talks and this situation is very fluid. With Brandon Bass or Jeff Green as the bait, the Celtics are at the very least considering a move for one of the best rim-protectors in the game. They’d be foolish not to.
Should they do it? Here’s some further analysis from our team on the possibilities. Here’s my take via CBS Boston.
I guess it all depends on the price, in my estimation. There’s plenty of promise in Asik, and his pros outweigh his cons, especially for the long-term. Trading away a first-round pick and Green or Bass is a deal worth making. If the price is higher than that though, I’d be inclined to think twice on it. Both Bass and Green are key members of the Celtics and potentially could be a big part of the future as well. Ainge should be in no rush to move either if you can get serious value. Still, it’s tough to turn down the prospect of acquiring a legitimate big man for the future.
Also, be sure to check out extended analysis from Michael Pina on CelticsHub earlier this week.
Stay tuned to CelticsHub for any further developments on the Asik situation.