As Wednesday turned to Thursday and the Rockets self-imposed trade deadline approached, it did seem likely that the Rockets will pull the trigger on a deal to trade unhappy center Omer Asik.
The Sixers and Celtics appeared to be the furthest along in negotiations with the Rockets on deals that could send Asik to either team. It’s possible a deal could involve more than one team as well. While particulars are still a bit murky, it does appear a deal will be completed on Thursday.
Asik was on the Rockets bench as he has been on most nights, since being out of action over the last seven games with a right thigh contusion.
He declined comment after the game.
It might have been his last night with the Rockets as Houston beat Chicago, 109-94. His teammates are not oblivious to the constant trade chatter in the media.
“I totally understand how O(mer) feels,” Dwight Howard said. “Everyday people are talking about it. I just want him to understand that he is part of our family. I like the crew that we have. I just want him to realize that he is a big part of our team, a big part of our success.
“I know that he hasn’t been playing,” Howard said. “But later on in the season, when we play in the playoffs and you have a guy like O that can get you 13 rebounds, get you some blocks, play great defense, so having an option like O is not bad at all.”
Speaking with the media both before and after the game, head coach Kevin McHale said he thought Asik's injury was much-improved and he could be ready to play very soon.