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Sifting Through The Rubble Of Trade Rumors For Omer Asik

Since word filtered out a couple weeks ago the Rockets were planning to move disgruntled center Omer Asik before a self-imposed deadline that ends tomorrow, December 19, all manner of rumors have leaked about the Celtics, the Sixers, the Hawks, Cavs, Bobcats, Bucks and probably a partridge and a pear tree. All are interested in the offensive quagmire who plays excellent defense, so let’s try and figure out where Asik stands today, and what we’re likely to see heading into tomorrow’s self-imposed “deadline” for his services.

Yahoo’s breaking news maestro, Adrian Wojnarowski, wrote last night that the Hawks, Celtics, Cavaliers and Sixers — with the Celtics and Sixers at the top — lead the race to acquire the Turkish seven-footer. Woj also added a fifth “wildcard” team that is on the fringe of the discussion and might make a last ditch run for Asik before tomorrow.

That’s when amateurs on Twitter bandied about various teams who might be the wildcard. A league source told RealGM’s Andrew Perna the wildcard team was also the team with the best record in the NBA right now, Portland.

Except, USA Today’s Sam Amick tweets that Portland is not even remotely interested.

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Amick adds that the Hawks aren’t really involved (though we’ve seen more than one mention of a Paul Millsap – Asik swap):

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HoopsWorld’s Bill Ingram eliminated the Bucks from contention, with a rumored Ersan Ilyasova – Asik exchange turning out to be false.

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If you’re wondering why the Rockets have instigated their own deadline when the NBA’s trade deadline expires on February 21 next year, it’s because Rockets GM Daryl Morey wants the flexibility to also unload whomever he’s picking up when dealing Asik. So, basically, the suitors lining up for Asik’s services are dangling players that Morey might trade again in the next two months. Pro-tip for whichever players get dealt to Houston: don’t buy; you should lease, rent, or sleep on a teammates couch. Jeremy Lin can help you with that last part.

But who are the frontrunners, and will this happen today, in the final minutes tomorrow, or not at all?

Fox Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico reveals there might be a three-team trade happening involving the Cavs, Rockets and Celtics.

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Except a source told Wojnarowski the Cavs and Hawks have faded in their pursuit.

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One team that appears to be involved in most of the primary talks for Asik — as well as the tertiary, 3-team discussions — is the Celtics. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald confirms that GM Danny Ainge and the Celtics are at the forefront of discussions with Morey:

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Bulpett also wrote a longer piece today detailing Rajon Rondo‘s involvement — or more accurately, lack of involvement — in the discussions.

Wojnarowski confirms Bulpett’s tweet today that the Celtics appear to be graining traction in their effort to acquire the big man.

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Woj adds that Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee are two of the names that have been included in those discussions:

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But as Ken Berger of CBS Sports, notes, if Morey is looking to package Lee or Bass in a future trade before the February 21 deadline — and Morey has all but admitted that with his own deadline at midnight tomorrow — there isn’t a lot of interest in either player from many teams around the league. That could stile a Boston deal.

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This all discounts the connection between Morey and new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, who many pegged as the recipient of Asik when Houston let it be known they were looking to get rid of him this week. That’s because Hinkie used to work under Morey in Houston before Philly brought him on as their new GM. But not much as been coming from Philadelphia since Houston imposed their own deadline.

Two sources briefed on the Asik talks tell Berger a deal isn’t likely to be made until tomorrow.

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So another evening of speculation, innuendo, posturing, implications, and the various whispered flotsam surrounding #OmerMare will continue into the night and tomorrow. At least now you’re caught up.

[h/t: Hoops Rumors]

Who will end up with Omer Asik?

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