There were so many updates on the Omer Asik front yesterday that we needed three posts to round them all up, and the rumor mill doesn’t figure to slow down today. December 19th represents the Rockets‘ self-imposed deadline to move their disgruntled center, and it sounds as if the team plans to stick to that goal. Here are the latest items related to the Asik sweepstakes:
- The Sixers remain “very involved” in talks for Asik, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
- Because this season’s trade deadline is February 20th, rather than the 19th, the Rockets have been told they could move Asik tomorrow and still re-package any involved players in February swaps. However, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports, Houston is still operating as if today is the deadline, meaning the club figures to take a step back and reconsider its options if nothing is finalized by day’s end (Twitter links).
- While the Celtics are viewed as the frontrunner to land Asik, GM Danny Ainge said today on Boston sports radio that he’s been exploring deals, but doesn’t believe anything is close (link via Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston).
- According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, the Rockets are believed to have spent much of Wednesday weighing the merits of the Celtics‘ offer (Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, and a first-round pick), while remaining engaged in talks with the Sixers and leaving the door open for other teams to join the discussion. As we heard yesterday, Houston would like to obtain Spencer Hawes and a first-rounder from Philadelphia, but it’s not clear yet if GM Sam Hinkie is willing to pay that price.
- Stein echoes yesterday’s reports in writing that the quality of the draft pick the Rockets can get from the Celtics will go a long way toward determining whether the two sides make a deal. However, most sources who spoke to Stein expressed a belief that Houston will proceed with an Asik trade today, accepting the best offer on the table.