Report: Celtics may be frontrunners for Asik; would move Bass, Lee, pick
Houston’s Omer Asik is going to get traded Thursday. Not Wednesday —deals are still being hammered out. Not Friday — anyone acquired this day or later can’t be traded again at the February trade deadline in a combined deal with other teammates. It will happen Thursday.
It looks more and more like the Celtics will be one of the teams involved. Whether they are the final landing spot for Asik and who exactly is going to be shipped out in the deal, remains up in the air.
Here is the latest, via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports
The Boston Celtics are gaining traction in talks to acquire Houston center Omer Asik, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 18, 2013
Serious talks on Boston-Houston package for Asik have included Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a 1st round pick, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 18, 2013
There very possibly will be a third team involved (maybe the final landing spot for Courtney Lee, although Houston reportedly liked him).
Cleveland and Atlanta are reportedly out of the mix plus it appears Portland was never close, reports Sam Amick of the USA Today.
Re: Omer Asik & rumored Portland involvement, I'm told Blazers "not even remotely involved." Yahoo! reporting Boston making progress.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) December 18, 2013
If it is Houston and Boston, here are my first thoughts:
If Danny Ainge does this you have to wonder what the long-term plan would be. Short term Asik can provide improved defense in the paint, plus this solves the power forward logjam. If they want to make a run at the playoffs this year they get a little better with this. But are the playoffs the goal? I would expect Ainge to try and flip Asik again at the deadline — he is not the long-term answer in Boston (an Asik with Rajon Rondo pairing would not exactly scream “building a contender”).
Also, Brandon Bass and Dwight Howard played together in Orlando and looked pretty good together (but apparently were not best buds).
Kevin McHale had Courtney Lee on his Houston team before and played him a lot because he liked his defense. The Rockets certainly need some perimeter defense now.
This deal makes some sense for Houston, and they can see what Bass could potentially draw as a trade piece at the deadline.