Omer Asik will be moved and moved soon. There have been enough reports for me to believe the Sixers will be involved in some way (though I'm still fairly leery of a Sam Hinkie-Daryl Morey bro hype machine to punk everybody else), the question is whether it'll be Asik coming to the Sixers or to the mystery third team that was alluded to earlier. The newest piece of piping hot rumor meat comes in green and white: the Atlantic Division-leading 11-14 Boston Celtics.
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.
If there are firsts to be had, you can be damn sure Lieutenant Admiral Hinkie will be diving on them like a fumbled football. I believe it awfully unlikely that the Rockets, with almost no leverage, will be able to trade Asik for a valuable player and a pick. Hinkie's getting his grubby hands on that little bastard.
The Celtics are a rational destination. Now that they're off the tank wagon, they can aim for a playoff run coinciding with Rajon Rondo's return without sacrificing much of their future. They have their own pick this year as well as Brooklyn's, same goes for 2016. Assets are at their disposal.
Boston reaaaally needs a legitimate center, so if it's the Celtics, that to me means Asik goes to Boston, Spencer Hawes goes to Houston, and the Sixers feast on picks and absorb salary. If Gerald Wallace didn't have two (!) ridiculously expensive years after this one, I'd say they could take him back with a handsome reward of picks and booty.
If Asik does come to Philly, though, remember: Hinkie's plan is not a straight line. Assets are flexible and movable and not predicated upon which one loses the Sixers the most games. They have the 3rd-worst record in the league right now. Acquiring Asik for Thad or Spencer won't take them out of the top 5.
There's lots of good nugs in Stein's piece, but the most interesting is when he notes Houston will have to pay Chandler Parsons soon -- their purse strings will be tightening. The appeal of Hawes' floor-stretching ability and shorter contract (not to mention Wight/Dwight connection) is bigger than the guy Terrence Jones looks like he's turning into for cheaper, Thaddeus Young.
More to come! Amazing, this is just like magic!