It’s quite hard to see how the Houston Rockets don’t trade Omer Asik considering everything that’s gone down with him over the offseason and now, with the Philadelphia 76ers and even the Boston Celtics looking like very likely destinations to deal with.
New Orleans, Boston, Atlanta, Portland, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City and Cleveland have been linked with Asik, but it seems that going to the 76ers or the Celtics are the two options closest to becoming reality.
There are two players from the Celtics the Rockets have their eyes on, which are Jeff Green and Brandon Bass. Green is on a deal that pays him $8.9 million this season, $9.4 million in the next one and a player option worth $9.5 million for 2015-2015. Brandon Bass, is signed through 2015, making $6.5 million this season and $6.9 million in the next. The Rockets are taking on more money, which means no big free agent signing, so they might be looking for the Celtics to throw in a draft pick.
Why? Because in the long run, Asik, signed until 2015, improves them this year but doesn’t really hurt their dealings and cap flexibility in the long run. Considering the players they’d be giving up, it’ll improve it. The Rockets don’t seem to really mind about the luxury tax, they’re just about improving the team according to what the numbers tell Daryl Morey. The fact that both Kevin Mchale and Morey have some positive history with Danny Ainge means this kind of deal can’t be counted out. On the other hand, it’s hard to believe the Celtics giving up on a draft pick, especially in the first round. unless it’s a bit further down in the future.
With Asik changing agents and not playing for quite some time due to a mysterious (and probably made up) injury, it’s going to be quite surprising if a finger doesn’t pull on the trigger very soon. The 76ers, with Thaddeus Young or Spencer Hawes going to the Rockets, are probably closer to completing a deal, but the Rockets are holding on to see if something else comes up.