An inability to trade Asik likely didn’t come from a lack of effort though as Yahoo’s Marc J. Spears says few teams, outside of potentially the Boston Celtics, have much interest in the expensive center:
One team to keep an eye on is the Boston Celtics. I hear they’re quietly calling, even though Houston is acting like ‘hey – we’re going to wait until the trade deadline’. Boston is very intrigued. Outside of Boston, I don’t know if anybody is super excited about this kid. Keep in mind, they have to pay him $15 million dollars next season. Fifteen million dollars for a guy who’s not a first team, second team, third team All-NBA player. Not an All-Star – just a good NBA center. I think a lot of teams are scared of paying that money and I think Houston is trying to embellish interest.
While Asik will only count for a bit over $8 million on the salary cap next season (for Houston or any team that acquires him), the Rockets altered his contract to pay him $15 million dollars overall to keep the Chicago Bulls from matching their offer sheet when they signed him in 2012.
All of the factors combined, including the Rockets desire to obtain a solid player in the trade, will likely make a move relatively difficult.