Rockets, Celtics break off trade talks regarding Asik

Rockets, Celtics break off trade talks regarding Asik
December 19, 2013, 5:00 pm
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BOSTON —  Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee were all smiles Thursday afternoon, and it wasn't just because of the time they spent with patients at the Boston Children's Hospital, either.

The Houston Rockets have temporarily suspended all trade talks involving Omer Asik, meaning the proposed deal that would have sent Bass, Lee and a future first-round pick to Houston is no longer being considered.

And its chances of being re-ignited don't look promising, either.

That leaves Boston (12-15) with a roster that, while still among the more competitive teams in the East (that's not saying much, I know), still lacks a high-impact, defensive-minded center.

Boston will continue to look at options that can either upgrade the roster talent-wise, or improve the team's financial positioning.

But Danny Ainge, Boston's president of Basketball operations, said he will remain patient and keep his eyes on potential deals.

"There's no absolute urgency on our part to do something," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "If we have an opportunity to improve our team, we'll do our due diligence and look into whether it's something that we want to do, something that works for us."

While there's no imminent deal involving the Celtics, that doesn't mean that there aren't players that Boston would strongly consider trading away at a moment's notice.

The two players whose names have been mentioned more than any other as players likely to be traded, are Lee and Gerald Wallace.

Shipping out either player will have nothing to do with what they can or cannot do, but more to do with getting their contracts off the books and thus create more salary cap flexibility in both the short and long-term for the Celtics.

But on Thursday, basketball took a back seat to bringing smiles to the faces of children who have an array of health-related challenges that they are coping with.

"The last thing you want to do is get too caught up with what you deem to be important," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "It's great to be here. It's great to get a chance to interact with the families.

Stevens added, "These kids are inspiring. What they do on a daily basis is real toughness. It's real grit. It's all the things that we talk about from a basketball standpoint, thats not real. We don't face real adversity. These guys are. And they're facing it head on, and their spirits are really inspiring and contagious."

The players did various craft projects with the children such as coloring a Christmas Tree. They also sang Christmas Carols and later visited several floors of the hospital to meet with patients as well as some of their family. Other members of the Celtics visited patients at the Boston Medical Center and Franciscan Hospital for Children.

"This was an awesome feeling that we had today," Lee said. "Coming here and spending time with kids that have been through a lot more worst situations than any of us could be going through. To put a smile on their face, it means a lot."

Bass echoed similar sentiments.

"Every year we look forward to doing this as a team," Bass said. "Opportunities to spend some time with kids, get some laughs out of them, they get some laughs out of us."

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