Omer Asik Trade Imminent as Houston Rockets Reportedly Find Deal They Like

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2013

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Hear that? It's the pitter-patter of Omer Asik dancing in the privacy of his own home as he miraculously recovers from a hip "injury" upon learning his time with the Houston Rockets is nearly over.

UPDATE: Thursday, Dec. 19, at 1:05 p.m. ET by Dan Favale

Brace yourselves. ESPN's Marc Stein has the latest on Asik negotiations:

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski confirms Stein's findings:

All of this waiting could be for nothing. Asik may not be moved. After all this. Sigh.

Excuse me while I cry my eyes out.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Thursday, Dec. 19, at 12:45 p.m. ET by Dan Favale

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reminds us there's another team aside from Boston hot on Asik's trail:

Funny, Boston and Philly seem like the two worst fits for Asik. What say you?

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 8:02 p.m. ET by Ben Leibowitz

According to David Aldridge of via Twitter, Omer Asik will not be traded tonight.

The Boston Celtics still appear to be the frontrunners for his services moving toward Thursday's deadline to re-route acquired players.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 7:08 p.m. ET by Ben Leibowitz

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports expanded on the earlier details via Twitter:

Also, if a deal does go down, it appears to only include the Boston Celtics and Houston:

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 7:02 p.m. ET by Ben Leibowitz

According to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe via Twitter, the Boston Celtics are "close" to acquiring Omer Asik:

It will be interesting to see if the Celts decide to surrender a first-round pick for the big man.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 5:15 p.m. ET by Dan Favale

Previous reports indicated the Celtics were favorites to land Asik, but The Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes says otherwise:

And the saga continues.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 4:35 p.m. ET by Dan Favale

USA Today's Sam Amick threw some more valuable Asik information into the ever-churning rumor mill:

With Portland seemingly out of the fold, that means the race is down to four teams—Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta and Philadelphia—with the Celtics leading the pack.

We think.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 3:50 p.m. ET by Dan Favale

Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski dropped some serious bombs on this Asik business:

If you're wondering why Asik is a bad fit for the Celtics, I've got you covered here.

Kudos to Danny Ainge, though, if he unloads Courtney Lee's pact in any trade.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 2:16 p.m. ET by Dan Favale's Andrew Perna has revealed the mystery team angling for an Asik deal:

Would love to know what the Blazers are offering in this one. My gut tells me a third team would be involved.

Stay tuned.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 9:05 a.m. ET by Dan Favale

According to the New York Post's Marc Berman, the New York Knicks have thrown their hat into the Asik ring, because of course they have:

Whenever a big name becomes available, New York is always linked to the action, be it a realistic destination or not.

In this case, like most, they are not a realistic trade partner for Houston.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 8:30 a.m. ET by Dan Favale

CBS Sports' Ken Berger says that while an Asik trade remains imminent, talks are getting weird:

As the Rockets extract offers for disgruntled center Omer Asik before a self-imposed Thursday deadline, one scenario that has emerged has Asik going to Boston in a three-team deal with Philadelphia as the facilitating team, league sources told

One league source described the scenario as a long shot, calling it a "weird deal." Indeed, there would have to be strong incentive for the Sixers to steer Asik to a division rival. But both teams are strongly in the mix as possible destinations for the Turkish center, who has requested a trade after his role changed with the arrival of Dwight Howard in Houston.

Multiple league executives said the Rockets also are open to packaging Jeremy Lin with Asik, but that scenario appears unlikely as well. As one executive said of Lin, "I'm not sure there are many, if any, takers for him right now."

So now Jeremy Lin could be involved. And two (tanking) division rivals, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, could be helping each other out.

Weird indeed.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 10:55 p.m. ET by Ben Leibowitz

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, there are four suitors looking to trade for Omer Asik:

In addition to those four teams, there is reportedly a "wildcard" in the mix:

Again, expect Asik to get moved sooner rather than later.

——End of update——

Sources told the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen that general manager Daryl Morey is well on his way to dealing the disgruntled center:

For nearly a month, Morey has made his way around NBA showrooms and talked about deals. By his self-imposed Thursday deadline, he will be ready to buy.

Morey would not discuss his plans, but a person with knowledge of the Rockets' thinking said Morey set his Dec. 19 deadline in part because he knows he has an offer he is willing to take. Though things can change several times by Thursday, that individual said "it very likely will be a pretty complicated, three-way deal. There are a lot of moving parts."

ESPN's Marc Stein confirms the Rockets are indeed making progress, even delving into details of what a potential deal could look like:

While strong rumbles persist that the Philadelphia 76ers are the team most likely to go along with such an arrangement, given the close ties between Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and Philly counterpart Sam Hinkie, there's fresh talk in circulation about another potential co-conspirator.

The Boston Celtics.

The advice offered to us on Sunday was stern: Keep an eye on Boston. The Celtics possess two players in different salary ranges that would presumably fit in useful ways next to Dwight Howard: Jeff Green and Brandon Bass. The Celts also have a spare first-round draft pick or two to plug into any trade equation to sweeten the deal for Houston, amid rising suspicions around the league that Morey’s Rockets are going to find a way to come out of the Asik saga with at least one future first.

Stein also rules out the Cleveland Cavaliers as a potential destination while suggesting that Asik will be moved as part of a complicated three-team deal.

Exactly who or what the Rockets will land is unknown. Morey's asking price was previously "delusional," according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, indicating Houston must have softened its stance.

Names like Jeff Green and Thaddeus Young were tossed around in the above reports, assets that we should be highly skeptical of. Both players are owed more than $25 million through 2015-16, financial commitments the Rockets won't necessarily make to undersized power forwards who don't space the floor as effectively as a true stretch 4.

Inclusions of a first-round pick could sway the Rockets, but even then, the emergence of Terrence Jones makes it easy to wonder if the dollars and cents will add up for Houston. Chandler Parsons is due for an extension after this season, and he's going to get paid. Can the Rockets afford to house him and Green or Young?

Will the Rockets be wiling to pay Green and Young?
Will the Rockets be wiling to pay Green and Young?USA TODAY Sports

This is where the furtive third team comes into play. Routing Young or Green to a third outfit allows the Rockets to take on different, more agreeable talent. 

Don't expect the Rockets to seek a starter, either. Though it's possible, they've run with smaller lineups as of late and it's worked. Coupled with Jones' stellar play, that diminishes the need for an immediate starter.

One area of need to consider is at the sixth-man slot. Jeremy Lin, when healthy, has put up solid numbers (14.3 points and 4.2 assists per game), but he's missed seven of the last nine games nursing a back injury.

Also, MSG Networks' and ESPN Radio New York 98.7 FM's Alan Hahn (h/t The Dream Shake's Patrick Harrel) says the Rockets are looking to deal Lin. If they actually move him, that could mean Houston is prepared to take a point guard back in any Asik trade. The Rockets aren't loaded at the position, but another floor general, in addition to Patrick Beverley and Aaron Brooks, makes for crowded company.

All of this is pure speculation, of course. Asik's next destination remains a mystery. But the big reveal is coming soon. 

*All salary information obtained courtesy of unless otherwise noted.


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