Dwight Howard told Houston he wants a third big-name player to join him and Harden in Houston.
He is also rumored to think highly of Rondo.
Why not at least explore the possibility of trading Rondo (and dumping salaries of Lee and Bass) to Houston for Lin and Asik? Maybe Ainge could even pry a #1 out of Houston in the deal.
Lin and Asik have identical $5.2 million deals this year and identical expiring $14.9 million deals next year.
The salaries in the trade fit, and Howard might be swayed to join Harden and Rondo in HOU. Houston could then load up on spare part FAs and use Lee and Bass off the bench for depth.
The Celtics would probably fare the same or worse (a good thing) with Lin/Asik as with Rondo, but the real value is having those two expiring contracts off the books after next year and the ability to shed the deals of Bass and Lee.
Just as Humphries will be trade bait this year at the deadline for his expiring deal, Lin and Asik would be similarly enticing trade chips at the trade deadline of 2014/15. Or Ainge could use the cap space to try to lure one or two max players for 2015-16.