Omer Asik Rumors

Forsberg’s Latest: Fredette, Asik, Green

February 25 at 8:23pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Some Celtics fans may have been upset with their team’s the lack of activity around the trade deadline, but Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston opines that acquiring Jimmer Fredette (if he reaches a buyout agreement in Sacramento) would be the perfect mea culpa, especially with the city’s ‘love’ of reclamation projects. All in all, Forsberg suggests that Fredette would be better suited to join a contender at this point, where he’d have an opportunity to jump-start his career in an offense-focused role and the expectations would be minimal.

Here’s more out of his latest Celtics mailbag:

  • Forsberg wonders if the team would revisit efforts to acquire Omer Asik from the Rockets this summer, when they’ll have a $10.3MM trade exception as well as plenty of draft picks to offer.
  • As with many players on the roster, Jeff Green‘s future in Boston could be tied in part to the draft and whether the Celtics end up drafting a player at his position.
  • There’s always the chance that Kelly Olynyk becomes trade fodder, but Forsberg believes the more cap-effective route would be to nurture the young center and hope his game continues to evolve.
  • When asked who he thinks will definitely return next year, Forsberg says that with so much hinging on the Celtics’ draft position and who they add on draft night, it’s difficult to say with any certainty. The exceptions are head coach Brad Stevens and – unless they can find a taker by giving up some assets – Gerald Wallace.
  • Colton Iverson’s NBA future depends on how crowded Boston’s roster is and his development. The team currently owns his rights and has kept tabs on him overseas, and Forsberg notes that the 7’0 center can rejoin the team for summer league with a chance to compete for an official roster spot.
  • As for the lack of trades around the deadline, Forsberg says the team put a high price on their talent, and as evidenced with the lack of activity around the league, few teams were willing to give up draft picks to acquire players.

Deadline Rumors: Hill, Nelson, Bulls, Kaman

February 20 at 1:24pm CDT By Zach Links

The latest from around the league as we inch closer to the deadline..

  • All is quiet for the Bulls, Grizzlies, Warriors, Mavericks, and Pelicans at the moment, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.
  • Meanwhile, the Mavericks have interest in Lakers big man Jordan Hill but the proposal is problematic because of L.A.’s desire to move both Hill and fellow big man Chris Kaman in order to get under the luxury tax, Amick writes.
  • The Kings are still shopping anyone not named DeMarcus Cousins from the Maloofs regime, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
  • The Magic and Wizards were discussing a deal involving Jameer Nelson before the Andre Miller deal was agreed upon, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
  • The Bulls, who are $678K under tax, are comfortable standing pat, a source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.  They believe they can stay under the threshold even with bonuses and 10-day deals.
  • The Cavs were never in on Lakers big man Chris Kaman, despite reports to the contrary, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
  • More from Amico, who tweets that Cavs acting GM David Griffin was unwilling to give up a first-round pick and a player for Rockets big man Omer Asik.  The Cavs went out and got Spencer Hawes instead.

Rockets Begin Asik Talks Again, Sixers In Mix

February 20 at 11:06am CDT By Chuck Myron

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.

Amick’s Latest: Rondo, Love, Asik, Ilyasova

February 18 at 8:06pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Despite the high asking price set by Celtics GM Danny AingeRajon Rondo is still being pursued by several teams, most actively by the Raptors, Knicks, and Kings, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. Ainge is seeking multiple first round picks and a young prospect in exchange for Rondo, and no team has been able to present a deal that meets such a hefty cost. Here’ more from Amick:

  • The Timberwolves are willing to listen to offers for any player on their roster besides Kevin Love, says on league executive. It’s a common belief Love will part ways with Minnesota in the summer of 2015 to seek out a deal with the Lakers, and the Wolves want to do everything they can to help prevent such a scenario.
  • Omer Asik has been asking for a trade since the Rockets signed Dwight Howard, but Amick hears it’s unlikely the disgruntled big man gets moved this week. It’ll be interesting to see where Asik is come Thursday, since this news contradicts an earlier report stating the Sixers might be in play to land him.
  • The Bucks have emerged as a possible “longshot destination” for Asik, as the Rockets would be interested in a swap involving Ersan Ilyasova. The Bucks remain hesitant to take on Asik, who will receive a steep pay increase next season, despite word that Ilyasova is unhappy in Milwaukee.
  • Amick reiterates earlier reports that suggest Mike Dunleavy is unlikely to be traded away from the Bulls.
  • Jeff Teague might emerge as a fallback option for clubs that are unable to trade for Rondo, as rival executives believe Teague will be available to teams if the price of the package coming their way is high enough.

No Trade Talk Surrounding Omer Asik

February 18 at 10:02am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Rockets have no ongoing discussions about trading Omer Asik, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). GM Daryl Morey said last month that it’s likely the team will keep Asik through next season, and it appears he’s keeping his word. Morey indicated the team would trade Asik in December, but no deal came about.

Houston also isn’t making much traction toward acquiring Bulls swingman Mike Dunleavy, Amick tweets. The Bulls appear unwilling to move him, according to Amick, in spite of his $3.183MM salary this season and $3.326MM pay for 2014/15.

The Rockets would love to move Asik, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports wrote last night, but the nearly $15MM balloon payment Asik will receive next season, in contrast to an $8.37MM cap figure, appears to be scaring off suitors. A January report indicated Houston was targeting Dunleavy, though not necessarily for a deal involving Asik.

Spears On Rondo, Lin, Barnes, Turner

February 17 at 8:36pm CDT By Zach Links

Can the Rockets keep soaring past the All-Star break?  In his latest power rankings, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports brings Houston up from No. 7 to No. 4, putting them right behind the HeatPacers, and Thunder.  Will they make a big splash in the days to come to hold their spot?  Spears has the goods on that and more..

  • According to a source, the Kings offered the Celtics Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore, and two picks for Rajon Rondo.  However, Rondo wasn’t interested in re-signing with Sacramento.
  • While the Rockets would love to trade Omer Asik, a source says they won’t trade reserve Jeremy Lin due to the scoring value he brings.
  • Sources tell Spears that Warriors executives have informed forward Harrison Barnes that, barring a blockbuster offer, he will not be traded before Thursday’s deadline.  Recently, Warriors owner Joe Lacob said that he hopes to keep Barnes for the long haul.
  • The 76ers want to move Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes and could act as a third team in a significant trade.
  • Raptors coach Dwane Casey is in the final year of his deal but Spears hears that he has impressed GM Masai Ujiri.
  • The Pelicans could be trading guard Austin Rivers and the rights to D-League guard Pierre Jackson between now and Thursday.
  • The Kings are in the market for a veteran backup point guard who can push the ball up the floor.
  • With several teams looking for backup point guards, Bucks veteran Luke Ridnour could be on the move.

Cavs Notes: Deadline, Waiters

February 15 at 12:08pm CDT By Cray Allred

We should expect the Cavs to make a deal prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, according to Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer.  Pluto says that interim GM David Griffin thinks the Cavs are primed to make up the three-game distance between them and the last playoff spot, and wants to convince owner Dan Gilbert that he should be the permanent GM. Here’s more from Pluto’s latest:

  • The Cavs are trying to acquire a forward with 3-point shooting range, Pluto reports in the same piece. Shooting and floor spacing has remained a need since former GM Chris Grant struck out on adding free agents Kyle Korver and Mike Dunleavy this past offseason.
  • The team believes second-year guard Dion Waiters is in the beginning stages of understanding the NBA game, leading Pluto to doubt he would be traded outside of a “monster deal.”
  • Pluto says the Cavs are also in pursuit of another big, but thinks an Omer Asik deal is a “long shot,” and wouldn’t include Anderson Varejao.
  • In an effort to build what was lacking in team chemistry earlier this season, Waiters and Kyrie Irving have been paired in constructive activities like an extra morning shootaround with an assistant coach, says Pluto.

Rockets Notes: Trade Targets, Bynum, Asik

February 14 at 12:34pm CDT By Chuck Myron

No NBA executive makes deadline trades as often as Rockets GM Daryl Morey does, so Houston figures to get involved in the fun on Thursday. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle takes a broad look at the moves the Rockets have considered so far and the ones they might make in the next six days, and we’ll hit the highlights here:

  • Feigen hears the Rockets have been on the lookout for a backup wing player who’s a strong defender and can catch and shoot. That desire eclipsed the team’s pursuit of a power forward or a perimeter player who can create off the bounce. It’s not entirely clear from Feigen’s wording whether the team is currently seeking that sort of backup wing.
  • The Rockets had talks last month with Andrew Bynum before he signed with the Pacers, a source tells Feigen. Houston didn’t extend an offer, but Feigen isn’t sure whether that’s because the team didn’t think Bynum could contribute or whether it’s simply a reflection of the team’s intention to hold on to Omer Asik.
  • Morey says that he continues to focus on improving the club for the future, though he admits he’s putting a greater emphasis on helping the present incarnation of the team than at past trade deadlines, Feigen notes. The Chronicle scribe also points to concerns about the length of Courtney Lee‘s contract as the reason the Rockets passed on a December trade that would have sent Asik to Boston for Lee and Brandon Bass. That’s a signal of the team’s reluctance to add commitments beyond next season, Feigen concludes.

Odds & Ends: Durant, ‘Melo, Rockets

January 30 at 5:39pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

There are plenty of things to look forward to tonight in the NBA, including the announcement of the All-Star game reserves as well as the follow-up showdown between the Warriors and Clippers, whose Christmas Day match-up gave us a taste of how intriguing the playoff atmosphere in the Western Conference could be come April. Shortly after the 105-103 loss, Clippers forward Blake Griffin spoke about being ejected and didn’t seem too happy with Golden State:

“If you look at it, I didn’t do anything and I got thrown out of the game. It all boils down to they (referees) fell for it…To me, it’s cowardly basketball. I don’t know their intentions, but it worked…If I knew the answer I’d probably be in a different position. Tonight I got two technicals for nothing.”

Although Warriors coach Mark Jackson continues to insist that LAC-GSW isn’t a rivalry, Matt Moore of CBS Sports provides the evidence which suggests otherwise. In the meantime, here are some links to pass along from around the Association this afternoon:

  • Kevin Durant‘s decision this summer to sign with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports agency came from a desire to enhance his off-court marketing, and it had nothing to do with his feelings about Oklahoma City, sources tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
  • An agent with ties to the Knicks tells Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling that he thinks Carmelo Anthony is “too Hollywood” to choose the Bulls in free agency and prefers New York or Los Angeles instead.
  • Some executives around the league were put off by the public negotiating the Rockets did when Omer Asik was on the block, and other front-office types were annoyed with Houston’s boasts after the Dwight Howard signing, as Zwerling reports in the same piece.
  • The Bulls would be “ecstatic” if Nikola Mirotic signed this summer for the mid-level exception, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. He’s almost certainly referring to the non-taxpayer’s mid-level, which would allow for a starting salary of $5.305MM.
  • Marco Belinelli says the Bulls didn’t make an offer to re-sign him this past summer, and he finds that surprising, as Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com observes. The Bulls chose to sign Mike Dunleavy instead, reportedly because they felt he was a better fit with Derrick Rose.
  • Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays a report from El Mundo Deportivo that China and Russia have decided to withdraw their bids from the FIFA World Cup Wild Card. Ryan Wosltat of the Toronto Sun (via Twitter) says that with those two teams out of the picture and Brazil, Greece, and Turkey locks for the tournament, then Canada should have a shot to make it as well.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post. 

Rockets GM On Asik, Parsons, Motiejunas, Trades

January 26 at 9:35am CDT By Jonathan Nehring

Rockets GM Daryl Morey participated in a Q&A session with Houston season-ticket holders before Friday night’s game. Ben DuBose of ClutchFans.net combined Morey’s discussion that Miguel Nistal tweeted while attending the event. Below you can find some of Morey’s more notable responses. 

On Omer Asik and his contract:

“At this point, Omer is very likely going to be here until the end of his contract at the end of next season, not this season. The window to trade him was [in December], and teams weren’t aggressive enough to get him, so we’re excited about him being a part of our future.”

On the upcoming free agency of Chandler Parsons:

“With Chandler, we have an interesting decision. At the end of this year, we can turn down his option. People wonder why, because it’s so cheap, but then he’d be a restricted free agent. Or he can go through his fourth year and be an unrestricted free agent. There are advantages to each, so it’s something we’ll continue to talk about. He’s going to make a lot of money on his next contract. We don’t know how much. But we’re committed to keeping him.”

Reflecting on his worst moves as Houston’s GM: 

“I take some sort of pride that you could argue that Royce White is the worst first-round pick ever. He’s the only one that never played a minute in the NBA that wasn’t just a foreign guy staying in Europe. It just shows we swing for the fence.”

On inquiries about Donatas Motiejunas after he requested the Rockets trade him:

“Teams are opportunistic. Any player that other teams like and think is good and that’s not playing, generally that’s who you get calls on. We’ve gotten a lot of calls on Donatas because he’s a mobile 7-footer with offensive skill. He’s not a perfect player, but because he wasn’t playing, teams are like ‘Maybe we can get him on the cheap’.We believe in him. I expect him to be here. The reality is, it’s very hard to get a 7-footer who can play as well as him on a $1 million contract.”

On the upcoming trade deadline:

“The reality is, the more you prescribe what you’re going to do at the deadline, the worse off you are. “If you say you’ve got to go with X, if other teams sense you’re locked into a player or a particular direction, they take advantage of that. We’re very opportunistic. We didn’t know James Harden was going to be available. We just knew we wanted to build up the right sets so that when the next star acts, we’re ready to pounce.

“We’re valuing now and this season much higher than we have in the past. We feel like, while maybe not the favorite, we have a legit chance to win the title this year. So if an opportunity presents itself to get a lot better this year, we’ll do it. We’ll give up some future for now.

“That said, we do feel like we have a long run with this group. But you never know how long. It’s a balancing act. You’re always judging future vs. now, and what we’re optimizing on is the probability of us to win the title over a 3-to-4 year window. We’re trying to maximize that.

“We’ll push down the future if it pushes up today high enough. If we can push up the future dramatically, we’d even push down today a little bit.”