Trade talks between the Celtics and the Houston Rockets halted on Thursday, an NBA source confirmed. The talks had centered around 7-footer Omer Asik, but Yahoo! Sports reported the Rockets are likely to keep Asik.
The hiatus at least temporarily halts the momentum that Asik would end up in Boston. The Rockets had created a self-imposed deadline of Thursday to complete a trade, though a deal could still be completed before the NBA’s trade deadline on February 20.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub Thursday the team was involved in trade discussions but that no deals were close to completion.
“When you read our name out there, sometimes it’s true and sometimes it’s not,” Ainge said. “I think the reports are embellished, but we are having discussions and seeing what’s out there.”
A source told the Globe the Celtics were nearing a deal to send Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, and a first-round draft pick to Houston for Asik. Ainge said Thursday he has talked to the agents for Bass and Lee about the trade talks. Ainge would not address Asik specifically Thursday but admitted, “The NBA is loaded with quality players, and big guys are much harder to find than small guys. ... Everyone’s looking for big guys that can defend.”
Ainge said he communicates with head coach Brad Stevens daily, and the two are on the same page, both “for the short term and the long term.”
At 12-15 the Celtics are in first place in the Atlantic Division. The Rockets have a self-imposed deadline of Thursday to complete a deal for Asik, who is owed $15 million next season.