All night yesterday, the rumors swirled about Omer Asik being traded to the Celtics, and one thing just didn't add up: Why would Daryl Morey take a deal that has him giving up the best player, has him taking on money in the long term, just for one draft pick? Apparently the answer to that question was "he's not." Today, with the deals on the table unappealing, the Rockets have reportedly backed off their trade plans and will keep Asik for now.
From Stein and Wojnarowski:
Hearing now that Rockets are moving away from the trade table on Omer Asik. Looks like there will be no trade today— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 19, 2013
Tho Asik is $10 million-a-year center when you average salary this season & next, owing him $15 mil of total next season has put teams off— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 19, 2013
Trade deadline (Feb. 20) still a long way away but there is growing pessimism within Rockets that they can find a trade partner on Asik— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 19, 2013
Houston has ended talks on an Omer Asik trade and plan to keep him for now, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 19, 2013
Houston needs to buy more time to find a deal. Rockets weren't dealing from a place of leverage now, and rest of league knew it.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 19, 2013
We've known all along that Daryl Morey is not going to take a deal he doesn't like, and today's move just solidifies that belief. The Rockets had little to no leverage, and weren't going to trade one of their top assets just for the sake of it.
For now, Asik stays. There are two more months until the deadline, and a deal might go down, but the Rockets might just seek to hold onto him at this point. At the very least, they're better off holding onto Asik than taking a bad deal now.
Asik is not going to be happy with this, but he's a professional and despite his pouting, he will get back on the court and bust his butt. He knows now that the Rockets' ability to trade him may be dependent on his on-court performance, and hopefully that will give him some motivation to play well.