The Houston Rockets and Omer Asik have a self-imposed deadline to trade the disgruntled center by Thursday, and there are several teams who could benefit from his services.
Once the Rockets signed Dwight Howard this offseason, Asik became as expendable as any player on the roster.
The team signed him away from the Chicago Bulls last year by giving Asik a three-year, $25.1 million contract that now is a hindrance to the team.
He's only averaging 17 minutes per game and has been inactive for seven straight games. The Rockets are ready to trade him for whatever they can get, and the Boston Celtics are the perfect suitor.
The two Atlantic Division rivals are in desperate need of interior help, but Boston has the most to gain by getting Asik while also having enough assets to trade to the Rockets to help them accomplish their goals.
Serious talks on Boston-Houston package for Asik have included Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a 1st round pick, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 18, 2013
The Rockets have made it no secret they want to contend for an NBA championship this year, and while their starting lineup is good enough to do that, their bench leaves more to be desired.
At power forward, Terrence Jones has become a reliable starter, but Donatas Motiejunas isn't giving the team anything as a backup.
If they could get Brandon Bass, they'd have a player that would not only provide a spark off the bench, but could easily challenge Jones for the starting spot.
At shooting guard, James Harden is arguably the team's best player, but his backup, Francisco Garcia, is 31 years old, and if the Rockets make a deep playoff run, will his older legs be able to hold up?
The Rockets wouldn't have to worry about that if Courtney Lee is part of the trade, and he's a better defender than Garcia. Lee can also play small forward and give the team good production when Chandler Parsons is on the bench.
And to top it all off, the Rockets would also reportedly acquire one of the Celtics' many first-round picks in a future NBA draft. They're reluctant for it to a be a pick in 2014, so it will likely be one in a draft two to three years down the road, but it's still a good asset to have.
So to recap, the Celtics would be trading away two bench players and a draft pick for a center who would probably start for them, while the Rockets add depth to their bench and a future draft pick.
It sounds like the perfect scenario for both teams, and that is probably why the two sides appear to be pushing hard for this deal to happen.