Brandon Bass has blossomed and Jeff Green has more consistently fulfilled his ample potential under new coach Brad Stevens, but either player’s days with the overachieving Celtics could be nearing an end.
Bass or Green would have the necessary salaries to make a trade for Houston center Omer Asik possible, and the Celtics could be the dark horses in the Asik sweepstakes, ESPN.com reports. Although the Celtics have not been involved directly in talks, according to Marc Stein, the Rockets are known to want to move Asik and Boston could be a landing spot for the 27-year-old defensive specialist.
“The advice offered to us on Sunday was stern: Keep an eye on Boston,” Stein writes. “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 [Daryl] Morey‘s Rockets are going to find a way to come out of the Asik saga with at least one future first [rounder].”
Stein also cites Rockets coach Kevin McHale‘s history with Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge as teammates on the Celtics.
Asik makes roughly $8.4 million this season and the same amount next season in a three-year, $25 million deal he signed with Houston in 2012. The Rockets’ signing of Howard last offseason rendered Asik irrelevant for them and his playing time has plummeted to 18.3 minutes per game, including eight DNPs. He hasn’t played at all since Dec. 2.
Green makes $8.7 million this season and $9.2 million in each of the next two seasons, if he exercises his player option for 2015-16. Bass is due to make $6.5 million this year and $6.9 million next year. Either could be traded for Asik while fitting within the NBA’s salary restrictions.
*All salary figures courtesy of ShamSports
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