First of all, if the Doc Rivers "trade" talks taught us anything, it is that nothing is dead till it is done. The only thing that changed is that the Rockets took away their self imposed trade deadline. Ainge and Morey could be talking right now for all we know.
That said, the indications being put out there are that the Rockets are going to go back to the drawing board and let the market work itself out a little more. That's probably the smart move on their part. You never know when and injury or a change in ownership's feelings might prompt some team to make a play for a guy like Asik closer to the trade deadline.
The Celtics, meanwhile, carry on with business as usual. By all accounts Bass and Lee are extremely professional and understand the money game that they are in. In truth, they've been on the trade block all season long and will remain there until the deadline passes or they are sent to another team. In fact, if they had been traded to Houston, they would have been given 60 days to relax before being put right back onto the block in time for the trade deadline. This is life in the NBA.
Danny is going to keep his ears open and his phones nearby.
Later Ainge added, "We’re just opportunistic. When you read our name out there, sometimes it’s true, sometimes it’s not. The reports are embellished for sure right now, but we are having discussions and seeing what opportunities there are out there."
Oh to be a fly on the wall during some of Danny's conversations with other GMs.
It certainly seems like Gerald Wallace has the 2nd worst contract in the NBA behind Amare Stoudemire so unless the Celtics want to send out a pick to offload him, he's sticking around. But Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee (among others) are certainly available for the right package.
Once again, the "right package" could mean a lot of different things. I had assumed it meant the proverbial "future assets" like young players and perhaps even a pick. But picks are hard to come by these days and the feeling around the league is that Bass and Lee are solid players, but probably a bit expensive. So there's no need to rush into a deal with Boston before at least exploring options elsewhere first.
The other option, as we've talked about here before, is to go the other direction and get a quality player now. Someone like Asik that could further us along the rebuilding process right away.
Here's what Celtics fans should take away from Boston's interest in Asik (if it wasn't obvious enough given the way the team has competed this season): The Celtics are not content to sit back and let the ping-pong balls dictate their rebuilding process. If there's a way for Boston to get better now -- and not hinder the team's future plans -- then the Celtics must consider it while attempting to accelerate through this transition process.
Again, it always boils down to value. The Rockets put themselves in a position where they have to trade Asik at some point. Ainge presented them with a fair offer that happened to be the best one out there. It wasn't enough for Morey (yet) but they might change their minds or come up with something a little more creative down the line.
Either way, Danny is going to busy for the next two months. For the time being, we can go back to talking about the product on the court... until the next rumor surfaces.