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Omer Asik Trade Watch: Celtics A Likely Destination?

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.

  • oldutican

    Let me get this straight. Houston has a back-up player who is overpaid and unhappy and they are committed to a deadline to trade him. Why would the Celts give up full market value assets in this situation? I can see giving Bass and maybe a draft choice cause Celts at deep at PF. But they have no one to replace Green except for Wallace, who can't score. And while Asik is nice as a rebounder/defender, he provides no offense to a roster that already lacks scoring.

    • hax

      The media is hyping up Asik so Houston can get incredible value for a 10/10 guy.

      • dslack

        A 10/10 guy who's the best defensive center in the NBA….

        • Mark

          He's not better than Hibbert. You've got to be kidding.

          • hax

            or Chandler.

  • phil jordan

    "Still, it’s tough to turn down the prospect of acquiring a legitimate big man for the future." – the guy is 29, the C's will luckly fight for the title again in 3 to 5 years, by then he will be 32 at least.
    Doesnt look like a smart move trade Green, who could be literaly our SF of the future for Asik.
    My humble opinion … Wait for the draft, draft well, and then think about a trade, either involving draft picks or players.

    • The Cardinal

      Actually, Omer and Jeff Green are the same age with Omer being "older" by a month or so. Given your time frame for projected relevancy, Jeff Green's current contract will have expired somewhere about the time you project relevancy. IMHO, it's okay to like or not like a deal, but please don't make up stuff to defend your position – just sayin'.

      Based on the productivity curve of "athletic" wings vs. "grinder" bigs, Omer would be projected to be more productive at his position than Jeff will be at his in another 3 years.

      • phil jordan

        Well i though he was older, im not making up anything Oo jeez

        As i said, my humble opinion, dont caught to much on that., dont like it, ignore it.

        Have a nice day 😉

        • phil jordan

          to be honest i do not dislike this trade, i think green is not living up the need, he is far too inconsistent, even liking his game.
          but i dont think asik will do a lot more for us.

          my opinion, i know you'll disagree, thats ok.

  • The Cardinal

    I'm with Brian…it kind of depends on the particulars as to whether the acquisition of Omer would be a mid-season coup with definite long term upside, or only mildly net-positive.

    If multiple teams are involved, I suppose the Celtics will also gain a small forward from someone should Green be traded. If Green goes, MarShon Brooks will finally get his chance to show what he can do at SF.

    I really hope that whatever the deal, Bass is a part of it. Kris Humphries is simply a bigger, better PF who brings an energy to the boards that we sorely need in our rotation, and I can see Danny making an attempt to re-sign him next season for maybe 3 years (albeit at a greatly reduced annual contract).

    The fact that there aren't a lot of posters gnashing teeth over the potential loss of Green and/or Bass shows how ambivalent the peanut gallery is about both of them – we appreciate what they do, but we are not convinced that what they do is irreplaceable. Given my druthers, I'd prefer to keep Green, but I'm open minded to the idea of additional financial flexibility for next year for the right player(s).

  • hax

    Morey doesn't understand that the Rockets aren't rebuilding anymore. Afraid of Green/Young's contract lengths? They're contenders, and those guys would make the team even scarier. And he wants draft picks instead of a well established player if he can't get both.

    The most I'd trade is Lee-Bass-Clippers 1st rounder for Asik. Green/other picks are a joke for a guy who'll never match Sullinger's stat line from the Wolves game. (24-11-5), and that's a 21 year old who is 3 inches shorter, on a long-cheap contract.

  • CG12

    As great as it would be to acquire a real center, something the C's don't really have right now (sorry, Vitor), you don't want to overreact just because Houston is staging a fire sale. A true rim protector has a lot of value, and he could probably maintain that value better into his older years than a guy who relies on his athleticism than Jeff Green (and Brandon Bass even more so). Given the C's depth at PF, moving Bass seems pretty clearly the better move. But Bass alone would never do it, so it depends hugely on what else is included. Green makes so much sense for Houston – at his best he gets to the rim and hits corner 3s, which is basically Houston's entire MO.

    If the C's were to get Asik for Green, you would then be looking at Rondo, Bradley (Crawford?), SF player X, Sullinger, and Asik as starters, with at least Hump, Olynyk, Pressey, and Lee coming off the bench. If they can pick up a nice 3-man via the draft or free agency, that looks like a damn nice lineup. With Rondo and Asik on the floor at the same time, you would need a scorer/shooter/spacer in the 3 spot, for sure.

  • morey


  • Matt

    I wouldnt trade green. He may have his off games but he does alot for the celtics game in and game out. I would trade nothing more than bass, (filler player), and clipps 1st. Asik is a rim protector but he is far from a dominant post big. If he had more of an offensive game then I could see giving more for him but no need to go overspend for asik during a rebuild year. If the cavs need a sf see if they will take wallace? for some reason im also very interested in nerlens noel I wonder if he is moveable? Just a thought

  • Anthony

    Wallace & CLee & Celts' 2015 1st Rounder to Cavs
    Varejao to Houston
    Asik & Waiters to Celts

    Who says no?

    Yes, the trade works in the trade machine.

    • CG12

      Cleveland and Houston both say no. Why would either of those teams want to do this trade?

      • Anthony

        Kyrie can play buddy ball with Waiters gone and Cavs get 1st rounder. CLee is good SG replacement and Wallace fills their SF need. Wallace doesnt need the ball so Jarrett Jack and Kyrie can shoot as much as their hearts desire.

        Houston get the PF that might actually want to be there. Varejao contract is more favorable than Green or Thaddeus. Maybe somebody throw them a 2nd rounder to keep them happy but I just don't see how Houston can have the leverage in this situation. They have nothing to gain from keeping Asik.

      • Anthony

        Maybe even throw in another pick to Cavs for absorbing the Wallace contract.

      • Anthony

        Houston needs flexibility in 2015-16 so they can resign Parsons, I would assume. Unless they think they can find a suitor for Lin, they would probably prefer shorter contracts.

      • hax

        We would have said the same for the deal we did with the nets. Some gm's are just bad, and it's danny's job to rip them off. I agree they wouldn't take that, but, trying is half the effort. 😀

        • CG12

          That would be a crazy good deal for the C's, no doubt. Even though Waiters is a pain in the ass, he can play. I like both Wallace and Lee, but they are rotation players, not lead guys. Waiters has the potential to be a lead guy.

          Asik is one of the best defensive players in the league, one of the few guys who can anchor your front court D and protect the rim in the half court. They are rare enough that you need to pay a premium beyond actual market value to get a shot at a guy like that. I'd be over the moon if the C's got Asik. When you have a guy like him behind you, it completely changes the way you play defense at the point of attack. Rondo, Bradley/Waiters, Green, Sullinger, Asik would be an absolutely insane defensive lineup. Green isn't a great team defender, but he is a fine one-on-one defender. Sullinger is also an excellent one-on-one defender, and is a very good team defender, since he reads the game so well. He would be vastly better defending at the 4 spot than the 5. I have actually never loved Rondo's D, but at least his gambling for steals and just standing up on D wouldn't cost the team so much with 4 other plus defenders on the floor.

  • So Cleveland would swap their center for one who's not as good, plus give up the guy they drafted at #4 in the 2012 draft, they take on 2 hideous long term contracts in Wallace and Lee, and all that for a 2015 Celtics draft pick. Do I have that right?

  • Anthony

    No, they rid themselves of somebody (Verajao) who is not in their future and someone (Waiters) that hinders the progress of their star (Kyrie). Keeping Kyrie happy is arguably more important to them than trying to convince Lebron to go home.

    Wallace's contract is just 1 year longer than Verajao. You can do worse than getting back 1 or more picks.

  • fabzzz

    How about this?

    Asik/Waiters to C's
    Green to Houston
    Bradley to Cleveland – the theory being Kyrie NEEDS some defensive help

    I might do that deal, because having a potential scorer like Waiters next to Rajon could be scary down the road

    • hax

      What worries me(other than Wallace replacing our leading scorer), is Waiters is on the record for saying he wants to be the best player on a team.He wants to be 'the guy' and take 20+ shots per game. I'm not sure we need a selfish guy on a team playing such great team ball.

  • dasein

    Green/Bass and a 1st is a good deal? Umm, no thanks. Green straight up is plenty fair.

  • Mark

    Unless it's the Clippers 1st next year no way should Danny give up a pick.

  • Danny

    Isn't this trade almost the reverse of the perkins trade. Trading Green for a brusing defensive center and very limited offensive skills whose looking for a new contract. Granted Asik has a year left and is probbaly better than perk was at that time but still seems remarkably similar.

    • roadsidenotes

      Green for Asik, yes.

      But that's a non-starter. Has been for days.

      Woj is reporting Lee, Bass, pick for Asik; which is more than I'd like to pay. However, Lee may be routed to a third team, which could send an expiring to Houston along with a pick, so that the Celtics are only sending out Lee and Bass for Asik.

      The important thing about sending out Lee is that it suggests the C's are not going to let Crawford walk next summer, as they'll need him for depth at the 2.

      • Mark

        And to me adding that pick in there is too much for Asik UNLESS the pick is the Clip pick we got for Doc which will be in the high 20's.

        • roadsidenotes

          To clarify:

          I suspect a third team will be providing the pick. I can't see the Celtics parting with Lee, Bass AND a pick for Asik. So I think the third team will send a pick & salary dump to the Rockets.

      • JStokes1313

        Keep in mind there's also the Nets/Hawks pick, which isn't very likely to be good considering I can't imagine the Nets staying where they are in the standings.

        I would be blown away/livid if it ended up being our own, Danny isn't that crazy.

        Bass/Lee/pick isn't too bad, saves money long term and gets rid of one of the long contracts, opens up time for Sully/wing players, let's Sully move back to the 4 which, as admirable as he's been playing the 5, is his natural spot. Still will have two picks in a loaded draft. It's solid.

        Now just need to find a landing spot for Crash…

  • Danny

    Lee, Bass and a pick is a different story. That's something to consider

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