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Reports: Houston Rockets pull out of Asik trade talks, will keep him for now

Dec 19, 2013, 1:26 PM EDT

Omer Asik Getty Images

Omer Asik may not like it, but he’s staying a Rocket for now. Probably.

After weeks of talks — not to mention media and fan speculation — Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey has looked at the trade market for Asik and decided it’s not good enough.

The Rockets have pulled out of all Asik trade talks and will keep the big man for now, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (among others).

Asik has requested a trade several times and switched agents in an effort to get moved. He has not been happy since — following a strong breakout season for him — the Rockets went out and got Dwight Howard to take over at center.

This is all about gaining leverage — the way to get the best deal on a new car is to be willing to walk out of the dealership without the keys.

Morey felt everyone knew about his self-imposed trade deadline of this Thursday — because they did (after Friday any players he gets back in an Asik trade cannot be packaged with others in a follow-up trade). With that Morey felt he was only getting lowball offers, so he walked out of the dealership without the keys.

Reports had the Rockets talking to the Celtics for a deal involving Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a future first round pick. There also had been talk of a deal with Philadelphia, likely involving Spencer Hawes among others.

There is little chance Asik is with the Rockets after the Feb. 20 trade deadline, but it’s not going to happen now…

Probably. Again, if you want to put pressure on the other side in a negotiation you walk away from the table. The Rockets did that, it’s possible a team caves in the next 24 hours and gives Morey a deal he wants.

Otherwise, this cloud follows the Rockets around for a while longer.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Celtics offered 2015 First Round Pick from Clippies, Rockets said no. They keep him!

    • timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      And you know this, how?

      • jcmeyer10 - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        I am that machine from Big so I know everything.

      • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        All hail Zoltar!!

    • timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      And you know this, how?

  2. lphboston - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Originally thought this might be a nice deal for the Celts, but on second thought why take on a malcontent?
    Things are going much better than expected, the team is playing hard, the coach is smart beyond his years and they have a boatload of high draft picks over the next few years.
    Let’s see how this plays out.

    • jcmeyer10 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      It would have been a nice deal for the Celtics, shedding Lee’s contract and giving up Bass, who they have replacements for, and giving up a mid to late 20’s pick while getting back a guy who could let Sully/Olynyk slide back to the four.

      Rockets got greedy, now they have no picks and no players.

    • scalfor3 - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      As a C’s fan I was licking my chops at the opportunity to turn Bass and Lee, two vets on bad contracts, into one of the best rim defenders in the league. However, I’m glad they weren’t willing to give up any of those Brooklyn picks in the deal. Asik would be nice, but not worth a potential high lottery pick. If Houston was willing to make the deal for Bass, Lee and the Clippers first, I’d do it in a heartbeat, but Morey isn’t a sucker.

    • 1historian - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Remember that DA was taught by the best – Red Auerbach, and right now he is keeping his cards close to the vest. This is not over by any means, and it will be fun to see it develop. As the February trade deadline gets closer and closer it will be even more fun to watch.

  3. pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    These trade offers for Asik are ridiculous as if he’s some franchise building block. He’s good but he’s def not worth quality players and a 1st round pick in this years draft.

    Also Asik is not THAT good to be demanding trades and being pouty over a bench role. What a diva.

  4. whoisrdymlz - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Houston has been asking way too much from the start of this thing. Not sure why this has been a story. With that asking price, everyone knew he was staying in Houston.

  5. drobstad - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Why would anybody trade a first round pick for an under performing, overpaid malcontent?
    If I were the Rockets I would take whatever I could get just to get him off the roster at this point. Any move that can rid them of his contract for next season is a good move imo.

    • felser - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      He’s neither overpaid nor underperforming. It’s a backloaded contract, and the pay over the three years would be a good deal for a team that played him for the three years.

  6. ryanrockzzz - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I had metioned a few weeks back. I thought this may be the case, he’s just not a franchise player, or even a No. 2 option on a contending team. Decent rim protecting center, but limited offensively. Those have value, but certainly not at the level the Rockets were thinking.

    If he did, the Rockets would never be dangling him in the first place, or they wouldn’t have signed Howard.

    I think there’s a chance a last minute deal gets done. If Morey can trick teams into getting desperate and upping their offers, that’s the only last minute way he may be moved.

  7. sportsfan18 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    But, but, but… so many writers said he WOULD be traded by the 19th.

    They didn’t say might be traded, they said he would be traded.

    Ah yes, journalism in today’s day and age. I forgot.

  8. misremembered72 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    i hate the rockets for putting me through this for nothing…

  9. azarkhan - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Asik’s massive contract isn’t going anywhere, and he still wants to get traded, so all the Rockets have done is postpone the inevitable.

  10. doubledown44 - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    “Houston GM Daryl Morey has also informed Asik’s agent, Arn Tellem, that he’s ended talks about a trade for his client, source tells Yahoo.”

    It’s hilarious how writers have to phrase things sometimes. Is there anybody who doesn’t think Woj’s source is Tellem?

    • redbaronx - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      @doubledown44 – I doubt Arn Tellem is the source. The only side that benefits from a breakdown in talks is Houston, and I’m sure Houston put it out there to light a fire under teams considering a trade for Asik.

      As for Arn Tellem, the reason leaking this doesn’t work for him is that his client (Asik) might fire him for being as inept at getting a trade done as his predecessor. Asik might fire him in any case after hearing this….

      • 1historian - Dec 20, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Thumbs down – Asik is not in a position to be making big demands and his agent is doing his best, which at this point ain’t much.

        Stay tuned – this could be fun to watch play out.

      • redbaronx - Dec 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        @1historian – Eh? I didn’t say anything about Asik’s position to make demands. My point was EXACTLY that Asik isn’t in a position to make demands, and that I doubt Arn Tellem would be the one saying Houston pulled out of talks. Asik is obviously pouting and thinks these things come easy, and is oblivious to how he’s hurting his position with teams that might be interested. I’m not faulting Arn Tellem at all! I’m just saying I don’t think that he’s the one leaking Houston’s position.

        My point was that this leak probably came from Houston themselves to force other teams to come up from their lowball positions.

  11. timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    So sick of hearing about this baby. Why would a rebuilding team in tank mode want a 27yo defensive center at this point? I can understand Atlanta, but Milsap is 5x the player he is. Dont know why Bos or ohily would want to touch this overrated whiny mofo.

    You signed with the Rockets Omer, #DEALWITHIT

    • jcmeyer10 - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      The Celtics cannot handle the Hibberts, Monroes and Lopez’s of this world without someone bigger. He would be a great fit allowing for Sullinger and Olynyk to slide back to the four and allow them to match up with more traditional lineups with the ability to go small when necessary.

      • timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        Right, but theyre suppose to be losing games, remember?

      • jcmeyer10 - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Lol that’s for suckers. You lose and the balls don’t fall your way or you pick the wrong guy you end up like the Bobcats. I’d rather win and let the balls fall where they may.

      • misremembered72 - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        if fight club was about tanking nba teams that would be the opinion of Tyler Durden

    • redbaronx - Dec 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      @timberwolvesbrisin – You seem to have forgotten that Philly touched Bynum last year…..and lost Iggy for a Bynum, a player that is just as mentally fragile as Asik. No surprise that Philly would go for him.

  12. asublimeday - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Shouldn’t have chased money. Bulls would be using him more than Houston.

  13. antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Jeez – this is like Dwightmare Redux.

  14. spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Waiting on the inevitable Asik meltdown where he’s emotionally unable to play for a week or so.

  15. spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    This is an unusual case of Morey actually screwing up, but to his credit, who knew he would want to dump Asik so quickly? The structure of that contract was brilliant to steal him from Chicago, but it’s an albatross now that they want to move him.

    • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      They don’t want to move him. They would prefer to keep him – if he could just see the big picture.

      • spursareold - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:10 PM

        Pairing two bigs who can’t shoot ensures that James Harden will never be able to drive. One of your bigs has to at least have a servicable jumper to open the lane. That can’t happen with a Howard/Asik pairing, and pretty much everyone (except maybe you) knows it, which is why the offers are so low.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        They don’t have to play at the same time.

  16. kastout11 - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    It is the Rockets fault for announcing to everyone that he would be traded by the 19th. Of course they are getting lowballed. Everyone knows how bad Houston wants to get rid of him. If I were Philly, I would come in at the end and throw Hawes at them again. I think they want to get rid of him so bad, at the last hour, they might take it. Better than holding onto him for no reason, when they can at least get a decent player for him.

    • 1historian - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      Ainge will wait until they’re desperate. If he doesn’t move he doesn’t move – he’s still got plenty of cards to play.

  17. legend30 - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    I guess the Rockets’ want to keep a $15 million backup center for next season. They have no leverage right now, they need to stop acting like Asik is Shaq.

  18. unxpexted1 - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Oh the irony. THe method that you used to backload a contract in order to keep the home team from signing him, is now a big part of the reason why you can’t unload him.

    • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      But they’re only trying to do Asik a favor by trading him. They don’t have to do that, and they never even wanted to do that.

      So if they can’t trade him, that’s not such a big deal for the Rockets – the impact is felt mostly in Asik, who will remain frustrated – but the Rockets aren’t hurt by retaining a good defensive 7 footer, even one who is not operating at 100% motivation. Asik is a big guy (FOR YOU) and space-eater whether he’s grumpy or not.

      • unxpexted1 - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        I mean honestly at this point do you really think the rockets want him for the price they are paying him, for the lack of production he’ll inevitablly produce since he wont play much. I’m no dwight fan, but one thing I will give him, for a big man he does an incredible job of staying on the floor for extended minutes. So he’ll never receive the playing time he came for, he could have stayed in chicago for that. Saying all that to say, I think the rockets have just as much interest in trading him as he does wanting to leave because right now they are getting nothing for him on the court.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        Ideally, yes, they do want him. Who wouldn’t?

        The Rockets would be glad to keep him if Asik can find a way to approach this from a different perspective.

      • somekat - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:53 PM

        don’t see that at all. What other perspective? He should be happy getting 10 minutes or so a game, during what should be his prime? Of course he wouldn’t. He signed in Houston to start, not to backup.

        I see nothing wrong here. Houston wanted to upgrade, Asik wasn’t to play. The only thing I see wrong here, is the Rockets asking price for a player everyone knows they dont’ have a spot for

      • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        He’d get more minutes if his mind was in a different place.

        He needs to see that the thing that will best help his cause is being a good employee, a good teammate, and winning.

        But this is where he finds himself – this is where fate has led him – so instead of trying to fight against that and throw in a monkey wrench he should embrace it and try to make lemonade.

        He can turn it around. It’s up to him.

      • somekat - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        It’s been established Howard and Asik can’t play together. So how would he be getting more minutes? You think Howard is going to be ok playing 28-30 minutes a game?

        That is the only way he gets more minutes. His “bad attitude” doesn’t seem to be the cause of his lack of minutes, his lack of minutes seem to be the cause of his bad attitude.

        I just don’t see the logic of expecting a guy who JUST had a breakout season, in his prime, expected to be happy about getting minutes that are given to a backup that is the 8th-9th guy on the bench that just gives the starter a blow at the end of the 3rd and beginning of 2nd

      • antistratfordian - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:17 PM

        “More” as in more than the 10 minutes you mentioned. He’d get more than that just backing up Howard.

        He shouldn’t have a bad attitude either way. Find a way to make a difference for your team – that should be his only concern, and right now he’s not motivated to do that. But he can change that.

        It’s all up to him – just because he’s backing up a hall of famer doesn’t mean his career is ruined. He can still make a big difference and turn heads. He did it in Chicago, he can do it again – he just has to decide that he wants to do it. Whether he gets traded or not is not really in his control, so he shouldn’t even worry about that.

        So yes, he needs an attitude adjustment – and its not unrealistic to think that he may come around.

  19. redblue560 - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Ball in your court Asik. Should he play good and smart basketball to draw interest, improve his value to other teams or just suck in Houston.

    • 1historian - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      He should keep his mouth shut and play his ass off every minute – every SECOND he’s in there. Let the chips fall where they may and hope for the best.

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