While there are strong rumbles that the Sixers, led by former Houston exec Sam Hinkie, will be the team to land Omer Asik, Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears that the Celtics are worth keeping an eye on as well. The Celtics have two players in Jeff Green and Brandon Bass that at different salary ranges could fit next to Dwight Howard.
Boston also has a spare first-round draft pick or two to plug into any trade equation to sweeten the deal for the Rockets, a big deal considering that GM Daryl Morey wants to come away with at least one future first. It also helps that the Morey and coach Kevin McHale have longstanding relationships with Celts president Danny Ainge.
Stein wonders openly if the Rockets can afford to take on someone like Green ($18.4MM over two seasons after this one) or Philly’s Thaddeus Young ($19.4MM over same span) when they know they’ll have to give an extension bump to Chandler Parsons when he becomes eligible. That means it’s likely that a third team will get involved in an Asik swap.
Meanwhile, it’s believed that the Cavs like the thought of keeping Anderson Varejao better than the prospect of trading him for Asik. Word is the Cavs would prefer to join in as a third-team facilitator that helps Asik land in a different city. The Hawks also have an attractive frontcourt piece in Paul Millsap, but it’s believed that GM Danny Ferry is holding on to him for a better prize than the disgruntled Houston center.