There have been numerous players over that years that fans have almost begged Danny Ainge to bring in.
That list of names includes players like DeMarcus Cousins and Jimmy Butler today but back in 2013 one of those names was then-Houston Rockets center Omer Asik.
Fans saw the Boston Celtics take care of the struggling New Orleans Pelicans last night despite falling down by double-digits in the first quarter but one thing they didn’t see was Omer Asik, who racked up his seventh straight DNP – Coach’s Decision as the Pelicans – his current team – lost their third straight game.
Asik averaged a double-double during the 2012-13 campaign but the Rockets brought in All-Star center Dwight Howard that summer and his minutes would rapidly decline as he moved to the bench. The Celtics were searching for a new identity as the Brad Stevens-era was just getting underway and with Asik clearly expendable to Houston it seemed like getting a young center who could score, rebound and defend would be a great starting point.
Rumors of a trade involving Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a first round pick for Asik started to pick up and fans liked the sound of that. It gave the Rockets a first round pick and some depth on their bench while Boston recieved an established player who could improve the overall talent on the roster, but it never happened and it left some fans upset at the non-move.
Asik was eventually traded to the Pelicans after the 2012-13 season and his production has been on the decline ever since. He’s now getting almost no playing time on a team that’s ten games below the .500 mark and when he does it isn’t pretty. The 30-year old is currently shooting below 50% from the field for the first time in his career, and that’s with 89.2% of his field goal attempts coming within three feet of the basket.
Danny Ainge often gets criticized for overvaluing assets and not pulling the trigger enough, but sometimes that’s a good thing. He isn’t like his crosstown/sport counterpart in Dave Dombrowski and not jumping on a guy like Asik when it would have been an easy upgrade at the time is something that can be chalked up as a win.