BSPN Insider: Who can Houston get for Asik?
Who can Houston get for Asik?
November, 14, 2013
Nov 14 9:15 PM ET
By Joe Kaiser | ESPN.com
Omer Asik has asked to be traded, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday evening, citing two individuals with knowledge of the request. Asik wasn't in the starting lineup for for the Rockets game in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, and again found himself on the bench for the start of Thursday's game at New York.
ďI would say the situation is very frustrating right now and we're trying to work through it,Ē Asik's agent, Andy Miller, told the newspaper. ďFor Omer, the objective has always been to continue to develop and grow as a player. Thatís why we came to Houston in the first place. If that objective canít be met, if we canít get the right platform to grow and contribute as a player, itís certainly frustrating.Ē
The Rockets have played poorly and often started off slowly with Asik paired alongside Dwight Howard in the frontcourt, causing Kevin McHale to make changes this week, moving Terrence Jones into the rotation. With Asik unhappy and a trade now looking increasingly possible, here are some deals that could make sense:
New Orleans Pelicans for Ryan Anderson -- Anderson would give the Rockets exactly the type of stretch 4 that they covet as a sidekick to Howard in the frontcourt. Anderson is also under contract for one year longer than Asik, and for cheaper. From the Pelicans' perspective, losing their big 3-point specialist would be a tough blow, but the opportunity to land someone like Asik may be too much to pass up. Bringing in Asik would fill the team's gaping hole at the 5, and it'd give Tyreke Evans the chance to thrive as the main super-sub off the bench. The team also has the cap flexibility to absorb the sharp rise in Asik's contract for next season ($14.89 million).
Oklahoma City Thunder for draft picks and/or Jeremy Lamb or Reggie Jackson -- Even with Steven Adams making a quick adjustment to the NBA, the Thunder still need help at the center spot. Asik's activity around the rim and experience would give OKC exactly what it has lacked in recent years, and could be the final piece to the puzzle. The Thunder would then use the Amnesty clause on Kendrick Perkins next summer to stay below the tax line in 2014-15, when Asik's contract balloons. The only problem with this trade is that the Rockets wouldn't land the perimeter-oriented power forward it so desperately covets.
San Antonio Spurs for Tiago Splitter -- The Rockets would have to come to the table with another piece or two to make the deal work for Splitter, who is making $10 million this season and is signed through 2016-17. But Splitter would give the Rockets a more offensive-oriented big man to pair with Howard, while Asik would give the Spurs a true center to pair with Duncan. Fittingly, Asik's current deal would expire the same year as Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
Portland Trail Blazers for LaMarcus Aldridge -- In a word: Blockbuster. Trade rumors surrounded Aldridge over the summer, and if the Trail Blazers (6-2) aren't serious playoff contenders come February, they'd be wise to see what they can fetch for their star power forward before the Feb. 20 trade deadline. Aldridge, a Texas native, is in the Chris Bosh fraternity of big men who dominate from the perimeter, and would be another great complement to the interior game of Howard. From Portland's side of things, Asik would be something of a gamble, considering that he -- like Aldridge -- can become a free agent after 2014-15, but the Rockets would have to include other pieces in the deal to make it work. The inclusion of 2012 first-rounder Terrence Jones, a Portland native, and/or underused 2011 first-rounder Donatas Motiejunas could be a package worth considering for the Blazers.