5:11pm: The Rockets are also willing to take only one first round pick and a “good young” player for Asik, Racine Journal Times’ Gery Woelfel tweets.
12:40pm: The Rockets would take back a “high-level” power forward for Asik if they can’t find a team willing to give up a lottery pick, Amick adds via Twitter.
11:56am: Houston is still seeking a likely lottery pick in return for Asik, USA Today’s Sam Amick tweets.
11:46am: The Rockets want to trade Omer Asik by December 19th at the latest, and have begun to more aggressively pursue discussions with other teams, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Houston wants to get a deal done by that date so that it could swap whomever it acquires for Asik in another deal in advance of the February 20th deadline. (Twitter links). The collective bargaining agreement prohibits over-the-cap teams from sending out anyone they obtain via trade in another deal for two months, unless that player is the only one the team trades in the subsequent deal.
A deal is most likely to happen between December 15th, when most free agents signed this summer become eligible to be traded, and the 19th, Stein tweets. The Rockets have reportedly been seeking a pair of first-round picks in return, though their targeting of the December 19th date suggests they’re also looking for current players. Two first-rounders would be quite a high cost, and indeed a rival GM recently described the Rockets’ asking price as “delusional.” Perhaps Houston GM Daryl Morey will become more willing to temper his expectations as his self-imposed deadline draws near.
The Blazers have apparently engaged the Rockets about Asik, while the Celtics have been linked to the big man as well. New Orleans is a long-rumored Asik destination, but the Pelicans don’t appear willing to part with Ryan Anderson. Asik’s price tag, which includes a nearly $8.4MM cap hit this season and next and a total of roughly $20MM in actual payments, seems to be scaring off the Bulls.