The Houston Rockets are trying to get rid of Omer Asik for quite some time. It didn’t start out that way, but the center has been asking to leave since the offseson, and might be closer to getting his wish with a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to Sam Amick and Jake Pavorsky , the Houston Rockets have a deal in place with the Philadelphia 76ers that will send Omer Asik to Philly, although it’s not quite clear for which player. With the Rockets going on about their need of a better power forward who can help on the boards, Thaddeus Young or maybe even Spencer Hawes will be going the other way, and Evan Turner, despite other rumors, isn’t going anywehre.
Does this make sense? Asik is a free agent in 2015, and making $8.3 million a season. What does he bring to the table for the Sixers? Better defense, and possibly a chance to increase his value before flipping him again this season or maybe the next by using him as a starting center and then getting more draft picks for him. However, sending away Hawes doesn’t make sense because he has an expiring contract which is in fact cheaper than what Asik is making ($6.5 million). For the Rockets, Young makes less sense because his deal runs through 2015-2016, making $9.4 million next season and $9.9 million in the next one.
The whole Asik situation this season hasn’t really helped the Rockets or him in terms of value and playing time. The moment he stopped appearing in the lineup, with the Rockets realizing they can’t play him and Howard together, Asik has shown less and less interesting in filling a bench role. He is averaging only 4.4 points per game with 6.8 rebounds. He has missed the last five games with a bruised right thigh, but might not be making the greatest of efforts to come back.
For the Sixers, bringing Asik might also be a chance for them to try out Noel as a power forward, keeping him away from guarding the very big men but still around the rim to make the most his blocking ability, while Asik is also one of the better defensive centers in the league.
The Rockets are still looking for a better deal – one that includes them getting a draft pick and making sure they have plenty of cap space next season for another superstar. However, right now the Philly deal looks like the best one available.