At some point in the next 24 hours, Omer Asik will almost certainly be traded. Tomorrow is the self-imposed deadline for the Rockets to trade Asik, and the team has reportedly taken offers that they are willing to accept. Where Asik would land has been a great talking point, with rumors connecting him everywhere from Charlotte to Phoenix over the last few days. Now, Marc Stein notes that one scenario is gaining traction as a likely outcome among NBA executives: A three-way trade that sends Asik to the Boston Celtics with another team facilitating the deal.
Here's what Stein had to say:
Those Rondo-to-SAC rumblings have been shot down pretty firmly ... but I continue to hear Celts remain at heart of trade mix for Omer Asik— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 18, 2013
As Dec. 19 draws near, more & more folks forecasting three-team Asik deal & Boston right there w/Philly now in terms of likely destinations— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 18, 2013
If the Celtics are truly interested in acquiring Asik, a three-way deal seems to make the most sense as their major assets all have significant money after this year. Jeff Green, the most likely piece to go in an Asik deal, has another two years left on his contract worth more than $18 million after this season, throwing the Rockets future cap flexibility in jeopardy.
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Breaking down the potential return in an Asik deal
Allen breaks down all of the rumored pieces that could be coming back to Houston in an Asik deal.
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However, with Green playing fairly well, a team might be willing to take on his contract and forward the Rockets an asset and an expiring contract in return for Asik. Who might that team be? The deal most often discussed had the Philadelphia 76ers sending the Rockets a piece like Spencer Hawes, the Rockets sending Asik to the Celtics, and the Celtics moving Green to the 76ers.
However, as Stein notes, the Sixers appear to also be in the hunt for a direct Asik trade. Daryl Morey values Asik extremely highly, and it would make sense that Hinkie would as well. If there is a team that would pay full value for Asik, it might be the Sixers. If they are willing to part with Hawes, who would fit in well behind Howard and next to him, the Rockets could find a deal with them.
Of course, the Rockets are almost certainly not limiting themselves to negotiations with two teams at this point and will discuss deals with myriad teams before ultimately making their decision tomorrow afternoon. At long last, the finish line is close on the Omer Asik era.
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