Serious talks on Boston-Houston package for Asik have included Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a 1st round pick, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 18, 2013
If such a package were to come together, it is unclear if Lee would go to Rockets or be routed to a third team.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 18, 2013
There were rumors that if the trade included a third team, Ainge would go the expiring contracts route and deal MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, and Kris Humphries to another team (for example, the Sixers) and they would send players to Houston (presumably Thaddeus Young or Spencer Hawes). This proposed deal makes much more sense for both teams. For Houston, it gives them two solid role players for the playoffs on affordable deals. For the Celtics, we get the rim protector we've sorely been missing, it clears up the log jam at power forward, and it helps us with the cap (re-signing Avery Bradley and possibly Jordan Crawford).
It's important to note that this is just as much a cap move as it is a basketball move. After this season, Brandon Bass has one year left on his deal (Asik, the same) and Courtney Lee has two. If there are any plans of bringing back AB and Steez, Ainge has to clear as much as possible from the books. And who knows, bringing in Asik for the remainder of his contract could just be a move to build up his value over the next two months to only flip him again before the February trade deadline. He's not getting time in Houston, so Danny might be willing to give him a shot in Boston in order to fatten him up for later. Never underestimate Trader Danny.
Cleveland, as @JasonLloydABJ has written, doesn't want Asik but could be a third team. Not sure on status with Philly.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) December 18, 2013
If that that third team is Cleveland instead of Philly, it could mean Lee ends up with the Cavs and Chris Grant could be sending someone our way. There have been rumblings that Dion Waiters is unhappy and on the block. Stay tuned.