If you believe the breathless reports coming out over twitter all day, the sense was that there was headed talks going on about Asik in three way trades, mystery teams getting in the mix, and haggling over draft picks.
Steve Bulpett paints a different picture.
Multiple sources confirmed that an offer of Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a first-round draft pick — protected, at that — was indeed made by the Celts ... last week. When it was summarily turned down by the Rockets, the matter was closed and remained such as of late today.
The Celtics were not deep in talks with the Rockets today. They were not negotiating over which first-round pick would be included in the deal or how well protected that pick would be.
According to a source from a team that has been involved in the process and dropped out, the next move would have to come from the Rockets.
So to sum up, the Celtics have been the ones with the best offer all along. The Rockets have been trying very hard (with fake deadlines and leaking lots of rumors to the media) to drum up excitement over this "bidding war." Except nobody else came to the rodeo and the Rockets are left with just the Celtics offer.
Prediction: The Rockets will try one more time to drum up interest in a better offer then either pull the trigger with Boston or pull him off the market (either in truth or as part of another negotiating ploy).
The deal as it stands is an acceptable one for the Celtics. It is probably a sideways move from a pure talent and assets perspective but it straightens out our roster by subtracting from positions of surplus and adding a position of need.
But if it all falls apart then I don't think there's much harm done. Bass and Lee have been through this before and they understand the business - especially on a rebuilding team.