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NBA Trade Rumor: Stein reports Celtics a team to watch for Omer Asik

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This shouldn't be much of a surprise but it is interesting to hear in such strong terms.

Scott Halleran

As you've heard by now, the Rockets want to move quickly on Omer Asik. So far there have only been rumors that the Rockets had a deal in place with a team (perhaps the Sixers) and they were waiting to see if any additional offers came along that were better.

Sounds like one team that might be a match is the Boston Celtics.

Omer Asik talks progressing - Marc Stein Blog - ESPN

The advice offered us Sunday was stern: Keep an eye on Boston. The Celtics possess two players in different salary ranges that would presumably fit in useful ways next to Dwight Howard: Jeff Green and Brandon Bass. The Celts also have a spare first-round draft pick or two to plug into any trade equation to sweeten the deal for Houston, amid rising suspicions around the league that Morey’s Rockets are going to find a way to come out of the Asik saga with at least one future first. The same Rockets who happen to have a GM (Morey) and coach (Kevin McHale) who have longstanding relationships with Celts president Danny Ainge. So, yes, I’d say you should keep an eye on Boston.

While Asik's offensive numbers aren't exactly eye catching, he's best known for the quality work he does on defense - that is when he's not sharing the court with Dwight Howard.

Do Jeff Green or Brandon Bass interest Houston Rockets in Omer Asik sweepstakes? |

With Dwight Howard in town, Asik has become expendable. But he averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds over 30 minutes per game last season, and he serves as an elite rebounder and rim protector who could instantly transform a defense. The Celtics, already in the top 10 defensively despite starting a chubby 6-foot-9 center (sorry Jared Sullinger, you've been very good), could get especially stingy with Asik.

The Celtics have a surplus of forwards and guards and would like to solidify their center spot. Perhaps Asik is an answer. But is he worth the price?

Is Asik worth Green plus a future pick? (I can't imagine Ainge would be willing to offer 2 picks) How about Bass, filler, and a pick? It kind of depends on the pick in question but it is an interesting question. I don't think the Rockets are going to move forward without a draft pick coming in return. It also sounds like they wouldn't be willing to take on additional salary so scratch tossing Gerald Wallace into the mix.

Note: This seems to be written from the Rockets perspective. So maybe this is wishful thinking on their part. But it won't be the first time we've heard Green or Bass brought up in relation to the Asik situation.

This is far from happening or even being close. Stein goes on to describe several teams with a chance at landing Asik and indicates that the Sixers could participate in a 3 way trade as well. Still, it is telling to hear the Celtics named in such a "stern" way.

We'll update you with more if this story develops.

Note: I updated the poll below because the Jeff Green version was too lopsided (sorry, I was in a rush to get a story/poll up last night when this hit)