Boston Celtics trade rumors 2013: Celtics emerge among frontrunners in Houston Rockets' Omer Asik sweepstakes
Brandon Bass could be used as trade bait to acquire Rockets center Omer Asik. (AP photo) Print By Jay King, MassLive.com
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on December 18, 2013 at 6:45 AM, updated December 18, 2013 at 6:51 AM Email
With the Houston Rockets now one day from their self-imposed deadline to trade center Omer Asik, the Boston Celtics continue to sound like a possible landing spot.
According to multiple reports, the Celtics have positioned themselves as frontrunners for the elite defender and rebounder. The Rockets are widely expected to move Asik by Thursday because it serves as the final day for a team to acquire players eligible for inclusion in a package deal at the February trade deadline.
ESPN's Marc Stein and Brian Windhorstreported early Wednesday that the Celtics are "increasingly active in the Asik talks" and have emerged as the "strongest rivals" to the Philadelphia 76ers in trade discussions. Stein and Windhorst mentioned both Jeff Green and Brandon Bass as possible bait (one or the other), and the Celtics possess a wealth of first-round picks. Houston is likely to want at least one first-rounder in the deal, according to ESPN. For more specifics, read the report.
Other outlets have called Green's inclusion in any Asik deal unlikely, but Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski also mentioned both Green and Bass as trade candidates. According to Wojnarowski, the Celtics are frontrunners for Asik along with Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta and an unspecified "wildcard."
With the exception of the "wildcard," Stein and Windhorst reported the same four teams as those involved in discussions. The ESPN duo indicated the Hawks are "lukewarm" on Asik and the Cavaliers are more likely to facilitate a three-way trade than acquire Asik themselves.
According to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett, the Celtics have had some talks about Asik but would likely need the involvement of a third team because the Rockets don't appear to like what the Celtics would offer.
Asik has proven himself as one of the best rebounders and rim protectors in the NBA, but has become expendable with Dwight Howard in Houston and has reportedly requested a trade.