It’s hard to say if this is an attempt to put some negotiation pressure or simply another try to make Omer Asik a legitimate part of the rotation. In any case, the Houston Rockets for now are taking the center off the table, and aren’t trading him, although that might change very quickly. It might also mean something about Jeremy Lin’s situation.
Over the last 72 hours two very strong candidates to get Asik through a trade emerged – the Philadelphia 76ers, using Thaddeus Young among other players to make it happen, and the Boston Celtics, with Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a draft pick suggested to go the other way. However, it’s unknown if one of the teams tried to change the deal, or the Rockets are trying to get more out of it – the deal is off for now.
The question that now needs to be asked is how soon does Asik get back from his made up injury? He was in street clothes over the last few games, watching from the sidelines. He isn’t happy about being a bench player, or in general of being on the same team with Dwight Howard it seems. However, he’s a great asset to have, and the Rockets could certainly use a backup center who is an excellent rebounder and capable defensive anchor.
Even if Asik doesn’t want to, he’ll suit up and play for Houston, but the problem is the effort, which really wasn’t there the moment he was taken out of the lineup, with the team deciding to give up on the twin-tower concept, which worked terrible in terms of efficiency on both ends of the floor.
Asik is averaging 4.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this season for Houston, averaging 18.3 minutes a night. He hasn’t played since December 2, and it’ll still be quite a stretch to believe he stays with the team past the trade deadline. Changing agents and the overall attitude from him and the Rockets implies this isn’t a long lasting relationship. It only got a short extension. Lin? Right now he’s injured, but the rumors about him won’t stop coming. He’s going to be harder to move than Asik at this point, and probably something the Rockets aren’t decided on yet.