The Houston Rockets have halted the trade talks centered around 7-footer Omer Asik, sources tell Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski. The Rockets had created a self-imposed deadline of Thursday to send the unhappy Asik to another team but "will keep him for now", according to the report. Wojnarowski reports that Asik's agent, Arn Tellem, received notice from Rockets GM Dary Morey that talks have ended.
An NBA source confirms to the Globe's Gary Washburn that the talks are dead, adding that they weren't as strong as had been circulated.
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
The hiatus at least temporarily halts the momentum that Asik will end up in Boston. A source told WashburnWednesday night that the Celtics were nearing a deal to send Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, and a first-round draft pick to Houston for Asik. On Thursday morning, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub that his team is involved in trade discussions but that no deals were close to completion.
"When you read our name out there, sometimes it's true and sometimes it's not," Ainge said. "I think the reports are embellished, but we are having discussions and seeing what's out there."
Ainge said Thursday he has talked to the agents for Bass and Lee about the trade talks. Ainge would not address Asik specifically Thursday but admitted, "The NBA is loaded with quality players, and big guys are much harder to find than small guys. ... Everyone's looking for big guys that can defend."
Ainge said he communicates with head coach Brad Stevens daily, and the two are on the same page, both "for the short term and the long term." At 12-15 the Celtics are in first place in the Atlantic Division. The Rockets have a self-imposed deadline of today to complete a deal for Asik, who is owed $15 million next season.