THURSDAY, 11:05am: The Rockets were strongly leaning toward keeping Asik as of last night, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who notes that Morey is nonetheless usually itchy to make a deal on deadline day (Twitter links).
WEDNESDAY, 7:40am: Sam Amick of USA Today on Tuesday night raised the notion of the Bucks as a dark horse in the race for Asik, but this morning he hears there have been no recent talks between Houston and Milwaukee (Twitter link).
TUESDAY, 4:38pm: The Sixers have been Asik’s most likely destination for months, according to Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders, who notes Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie’s connection to the big man. Hinkie was with the Rockets when they signed Asik last year (Twitter links).
1:34pm: Hours after a report indicated all was quiet surrounding Omer Asik, the Rockets have picked up trade talks for the center once more, with the Sixers emerging as a possible partner, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Philadelphia was one of the teams in heavy pursuit of Asik in December, when the Rockets were aggressively trying to pull off a trade.
The Raptors and Nets have no interest in Asik, given his nearly $15MM balloon payment for next season. The Hawks are interested, but not at the price point the Rockets have set. Houston is looking for a first-round pick in return, Berger writes.
The Rockets are interested in Spencer Hawes, but Philadelphia is looking to acquire first-rounders, not unload them, as Berger notes. The Sixers were also hesitant to take on Asik’s payment for next season when the teams spoke in December, and that reluctance could be exacerbated now, as Berger explains. The actual payout to Asik is smaller than his cap hit this season, so the more paychecks a team can issue to him this year, the less that team will feel the impact of his bloated paychecks for 2014/15. I examined the issue in depth earlier this season.