HoopsHype Omer Asik rumors

December 20, 2013 Updates

Center Dwight Howard, who took Asik’s starting spot this season, hopes Asik comes back and helps the team win. Howard said he and Asik can be a good combination. But making that combo work is going to take some compromise. “Like we said at the beginning of the year, it is going to take a total team effort for us to win a championship,” Howard said. “I know he has had a rough time, but the only thing we can do as a team is continue to lift him up, continue to try to help him understand that he is a big part of the team. “I know he might not feel that way, but he is.” Houston Chronicle

Asik didn’t practice and left early to see a doctor about his knee, which recently has started to bother him. Players at practice hope Asik is healthy soon and available to play. “He’s great for our team,” guard James Harden said. “He’s one of the best big men in the NBA, defensively as well. He complements our team so well. We’re fortunate to have him on our team.” Houston Chronicle

December 19, 2013 Updates

League sources say Asik's new agent, Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group, left Houston Thursday morning after efforts to get his client routed to greener pastures -- Boston, for example -- did not come to fruition. Houston GM Daryl Morey's desire to move Asik by Thursday so he could subsequently repackage any players involved before the Feb. 20 trade deadline did not outweigh the paucity of unattractive deals on the table. CBSSports.com

Rival executives were dubious from the beginning of a scenario that would've sent Asik to Boston for Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a first-round pick. Bass and Lee are two contracts that Celtics GM Danny Ainge is trying to unload, and league sources say he'd probably have to give up a draft pick to find a taker for Lee, anyway. So a deal that would also shed Bass and bring in Asik, a defensive center who is only 27, would be "a great deal for them," one executive said. If that was the deal Morey wanted, it would've been done already. Clearly, it wasn't. One person familiar with Morey's thinking said the Houston GM did not covet Bass or Lee, and likely only considered such a deal if he could have flipped one or both of them in future deals. Of course, A) he couldn't do that unless he acquired them by Thursday under NBA rules, and B) league sources say the market for both players would've been minimal, anyway. CBSSports.com

The reality is that the Rockets still have two months until the league's annual trade deadline on Feb. 20 to find a palatable deal, so Asik's name will continue to be at the forefront of leaguewide trade speculation until the deadline passes. Yet sources said Thursday that there is growing pessimism within the Houston organization that it can construct a workable trade, given the resistance even interested teams have shown regarding the $15 million owed Asik next season. ESPN.com

Sources say that the best offer they've received to date is the Boston Celtics' offer featuring reserves Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee and a future protected first-round pick. But sources say Houston couldn't bring itself Thursday to take that package back for a player it regards as one of the league's best rim protectors, especially after the Rockets -- according to a Boston Herald report -- rejected the same offer last week. ESPN.com

It's believed that the Rockets will now enlist the help of Asik's new agent, Arn Tellem, to try to assemble a trade construction that works over the next few weeks, because it's unlikely Asik is going to embrace the prospect of staying in Houston. Through previous agent Andy Miller, Asik began pushing to be dealt in July as soon as Howard arrived and has barely played since mid-November in the wake of his angry reaction to being dropped from the starting lineup, as well as thigh and knee issues that have been hampering Asik. ESPN.com

The Rockets would happily keep Asik to play behind Howard if the 27-year-old was willing to do so, believing there's a huge benefit to knowing that it can always put a top-flight defensive anchor on the floor even when Howard is on the bench. But Asik's unhappiness is a such an open secret that rival teams fully expect Houston to keep searching for a trade. ESPN.com

The Houston Rockets, who installed a self-imposed deadline of Thursday by which to trade disgruntled center Omer Asik, have changed their plan. A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed that the Rockets ended trade talks with teams regarding Asik and will now re-assess his situation. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because trade talks are not typically discussed publicly. USA Today Sports

After failing to find a suitable deal for center Omer Asik before a self-imposed Thursday deadline, the Houston Rockets backed away from trade discussions today, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Houston general manager Daryl Morey informed Asik's agent Arn Tellem of his decision on Thursday afternoon, sources said. Yahoo! Sports

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