10:01pm: Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe hears the Celtics and Rockets are “close” to a deal and echoes much of what we heard tonight before Bulpett reported that the talks are no longer active. It appears the teams are sending out conflicting information on the talks, perhaps in an exercise of negotiating tactics, though that’s just my speculation.
9:16pm: The Celtics proposed a deal of Bass, Lee and a protected first-rounder for Asik a week ago, but talks have been closed since then, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. While other reports have indicated the teams are currently negotiating, that’s not the case, Bulpett writes, suggesting that Celtics GM Danny Ainge isn’t budging from his offer and that the Rockets would have to sweeten their end of the deal to revive discussions. Bulpett also hears that when the Rockets brought Asik aboard in 2012, they promised him they wouldn’t sign another center to compete with him for the starting job.
8:11pm: The Celtics prefer to trade the Clippers’ 2015 first-round pick they acquired via the Doc Rivers deal, while the Rockets are seeking a 2014 first-rounder, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
7:09pm: TNT’s David Aldridge suggests the Rockets won’t close on an Asik deal tonight, meaning they’ll have to pull one off Thursday to meet their self-imposed deadline (Twitter link).
6:50pm: The Trail Blazers, believing Asik isn’t worth the risk of disrupting team chemistry, aren’t involved in talks with the Rockets, according to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. The Blazers have “grown to love” Robin Lopez and aren’t interested in any major acquisitions for now, Haynes adds.
6:24pm: Though the Hawks don’t appear too interested in Asik, his nearly $15MM balloon payment next season wouldn’t deter the team from taking him on, Vivlamore writes in a subscription-only piece.
5:58pm: The belief that the Celtics will land Omer Asik is growing stronger as other suitors drop out of the talks, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com. It looks like the deal would involve Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a draft pick headed to Houston in a trade that includes only the Celtics and Rockets. The two teams are debating over which pick Houston would get, Mannix adds (Twitter links). The Celtics had reportedly been reluctant to surrender their 2014 first-rounder, but it appears they’ve at least relented on the notion of draft compensation.
Lee spoke this afternoon about the possibility of getting traded, saying that he’d prefer to stay put but that he isn’t too concerned with the talk, as Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com notes (Twitter links). Lee is no stranger to Houston, having played there before the sign-and-trade that took him to Boston last year.
It’s not clear whether the Rockets would send anyone other than Asik to Boston, but Donatas Motiejunas is “desperate” for playing time, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, who points out that Motiejunas and Asik share an agent. Still, Motiejunas would prefer that he got added playing time in Houston rather than with another team, Feigen adds.
The Hawks, also reportedly an Asik suitor, were only in talks with the Rockets out of due diligence, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link).