The trade winds are swirling, and the biggest NBA trade rumors focus squarely on Houston Rockets center Omer Asik.
The most popular landing spot for Asik, according to multiple reports, is the Boston Celtics. The proposed trade would include Celtics forward Brandon Bass, guard Courtney Lee, and a first-round draft pick in exchange for the Rockets’ center.
The Rockets, however, declined the offer and are reworking the deal. The two teams are reportedly focusing talks on draft picks and a potential third team to pick up Courtney Lee.
The Rockets have also held discussions with the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that has surfaced as one of the more likely destinations.
The Rockets reportedly have interest in 76ers center Spencer Hawes, and would demand a first-round draft pick in the package.
In the past 24 hours, one more team has entered the trade talks. The New York Knicks reportedly have interest in joining the Asik sweepstakes, and would potentially serve as a third team in the deal. The Knicks could part ways with Metta World Peace or Iman Shumpert, who has been identified as a moveable piece in recent weeks with the team faltering.
Sources suggest the Knicks are unlikely to get involved, though, as the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers are better suited to serve as a third team between the Rockets and Celtics or Rockets and Sixers. The fact that Tyson Chandler returned to the Knicks lineup and was a major contributor negates the team’s need for a big man.
Thursday is the day the Rockets have been telling interested teams is the day they would trade Asik, according to sources. So if all holds true, Asik should have a suitcase waiting on standby at any point. The NBA’s official trade deadline is February 20.
Asik has been unhappy in Houston since the team signed fellow center Dwight Howard to a max deal in the offseason. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had planned to see the two big men play side by side, but Asik had other plans and instead requested a ticket out of town.