I had been predicting that despite the deadline, there would be no Omer Asik deal. The big guns (Marc Stein, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski) are now confirming that Houston has called off trade talks and intends to hang onto Omer Asik until at least the trade deadline. I already explained this morning why it seemed out of character for Daryl Morey to take back the garbage platter being offered by the Boston Celtics. Aside from what I already said, what was the rush? The premise behind making a deal by the 19th was so that the new players acquired could be flipped again by the real deadline. But Bass and Lee are, by most accounts, unflippable. So unless you’re thrilled with Bass and Lee (and there’s no reason to be), there really wasn’t any reason to jump on this trade. It’s better to just wait things out.
Now, there is the sentiment that whatever we would have gotten in return is better than an inactive Asik. I disagree. That argument would be based upon the premise that Asik will remain inactive. I don’t think that will be the case. While he’s no doubt upset, he’s not going to cling to this fake injury forever. He’ll get his act together and suit up and go back to giving us 15 minutes of elite defense (and 48 minutes of rim protection). That contribution is far better for this team than the impact Lee and Bass would have made, taking into account the financial consequences of adding Lee.
Will Asik’s value lower as the deadline approaches? Sure, it probably will. But its not exactly as if you’re missing out on some great prize in Bass and Lee. If that’s the market value right now for Asik, I’d go as far as to say I’d rather just hang onto Omer until his contract expires a year and a half from now.
If there is one truth in the world, it is that Daryl Morey will not make a trade unless he is absolutely thrilled with it. There is no “position of desperation.” He just won’t deal if he doesn’t like it.