Celtics in 'serious' talks to acquire Asik from Rockets

Celtics in 'serious' talks to acquire Asik from Rockets
December 18, 2013, 4:00 pm
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WHO IS OMER ASIK?
27 years-old from Turkey
7'0" -  255lbs
LAST SEASON IN HOUSTON
GP 82
MINS 30
PTS 10.1
REBS 11.7 (3rd)
BLK 1.1
FG % 54.1%

BOSTON — The Atlanta Hawks have apparently pulled themselves out of the Omer Asik sweepstakes, paving the way for Houston to engineer a trade with their Plan B: the Boston Celtics.

The Rockets' first choice for a trade partner was the Hawks, who would have sent a package that included Paul Millsap.

However, Atlanta has been on the fence about trading Milsap throughout this process, in part because they sense they might get more value for him down the road.

As for Boston, the Celtics are expected to include at least two players in a deal for Asik. Yahoo Sports! reported that Boston would offer a package that included Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a first-round pick.

Multiple league sources have told CSNNE.com for weeks that Lee was among the players most likely to be dealt by Boston between now and the trading deadline.

As for Bass, he has been among the key cogs in the Celtics playing above expectations that many set for the franchise this season.

Bass' strong play not only helped the Celtics, but also elevated his stock in the eyes of many throughout the league. In going to Houston, Bass would be reunited with Dwight Howard, who played alongside Bass in Orlando.

It would be a reunion of sorts for Lee as well after having played for the Rockets prior to the sign-and-trade with Boston in 2012 that made him a Celtic.

If the Celtics and Rockets are to get a deal done in the next 24 hours, it would give Houston the flexibility to trade any player acquired by the Feb. 21 deadline.

By acquiring Asik, the Celtics will have the rim protector around the paint that they have sorely lacked since trading away Kevin Garnett last summer.

Asik has made no secret about wanting out of Houston within hours after the Rockets acquired Howard in the offseason.

And after former Celtics great and current Houston coach Kevin McHale tried -- and failed -- to play them together, it became a matter of when, not if, Asik would be traded.