One of the hottest names on the trade block continues to be Houston Rockets backup center Omer Asik. The Rockets seem determined to trade him before Dec. 19 – the last day a player received in a trade can be packaged away in another trade before the deadline on Feb. 20. Asik’s plan to change his agent from Andy Miller to Arn Tellem further reveals his intentions to find the best trade partner and expedite the process. Below, we take a look at the top three landing spots for Asik.
New Orleans trades Ryan Anderson for Asik
Anderson should be the ideal target for the Rockets. He’s returned to the court healthy and in 11 games with four starts, he’s averaging a career-high 21.7 points per game. He’s also the former teammate of Dwight Howard going back to his days in Orlando where he thrived as a stretch four. Anderson could reunite with D12 and add even more firepower to the Rockets top-ranked offense. This is a perfect trade for both teams – the Rockets get a complimentary player who can space the floor to put alongside Howard in the frontcourt, and Asik takes over as the starting center for the Pelicans, forming with Anthony Davis to be one of the top defensive frontcourts in the league. To match up the contracts, the Rockets may have to throw in a player like Donatas Motiejunas, Greg Smith, or Isaiah Canaan.
Philadelphia trades Thaddeus Young for Asik
On Sunday, reports surfaced from ESPN that the 76ers are a team the Rockets could be engaging in trade discussions regarding Asik, with Thaddeus Young as a potential player they get in return. Sam Hinkie is the 76ers general manager and president of basketball operations. Prior to this year, he was with the Rockets for eight years and word around the league is that he is very fond of Asik’s game. Should the 76ers actually get Asik, you can put an end to the notion that they’re tanking. Though they have Spencer Hawes and Daniel Orton at center already, the team ranks 30th in points allowed. Asik can help improve that. The Rockets have a similar player to Young already in Terrence Jones, so there’s the issue of redundancy if the trade goes through. Maybe the 76ers add draft picks to sweeten the deal as well.
Boston trades Brandon Bass for Asik
The surprising Celtics are leading the Atlantic division with an undersized starting front line of Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass and Jeff Green. A legit 7-footer like Asik would be a perfect fit for the team and allow coach Brad Stevens to play a bigger lineup as Danny Ainge gets a defensive-minded big man. Sullinger could slide over to his natural power forward position and have more favorable matchups. For the Rockets, Howard gets to play with another former teammate from Orlando in Bass. He’s undersized, but he’s more a face-up, jump shooting forward who compliments Howard’s game well and can space the floor in the pick and roll, a staple in the Rockets offense.