The Houston Rockets have been performing the way everyone expected them to heading into 2013-14. You can’t undergo the sort of massive changes they underwent over the summer and not have an adjustment period. Couple that with the injuries that they have had to deal with, and their 29-17 record starts to make a lot of sense.
With the trade deadine quickly approaching, some folks are understandably asking whether perhaps Houston is still one move away from title contention.
Rajon Rondo recently returned from his torn ACL is currently working himself back into game shape. According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports, a deal that would land Rondo with the Rockets could be in the cards. Apparently Boston likes the way Terrence Jones has been playing. Jeremy Lin has also been mentioned in prospective deals a lot, and it would make sense given the fact that Boston would be giving up their starting point guard. Draft picks would obviously also have to be included.
Lin, 25, started the season off with a bang. Unfortunately, over the past six games he’s fallen into a bit of a funk. Aside from one 13-point showing against the Sacramento Kings, he has failed to crack double digit scoring in any of his outings over the past 10 days.
One way or another the speculation will be done soon. The NBA’s trade deadline is Feb. 20, and aside from the San Antonio Spurs, the Rockets have some easy games coming up. If they win, chances are the tact will remain intact. If they start dropping winnable outings, Kevin McHale may decide to make some pretty noticeable changes.
The Houston Rockets have been looking to trade Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik since before the season started.
When Dwight Howard was initially brought in, Asik made it clear that he had no interest in playing second-fiddle to the new best big man on the team. Kevin McHale tried to make it work by starting both at the same time, but they never really meshed.
Along the same lines, even though Lin has been a pleasant surprise for Houston all year long, his defensive question marks and inability to play to his full potential beside a ball-dominating two-guard like James Harden has always made him a tradable piece.
To date, the biggest problem Houston has had while seeking out trade partners is finding someone who would be willing to acquire sizeable salaries for players that are good, but not great. In an NBA where everyone is saving up cap space to sign a big name free agent, blowing your dough on Lin and Asik doesn’t make much sense.
One destination that has always seemed very logical for Lin and Asik has been Boston. The Celtics are knee deep in a rebuild right now, and both guys would be able to make immediate impacts. Danny Ainge has been accepting garbage from teams for the past year, so it’s not like he’s saving his cap space for LeBron James.
About a month ago, the Rockets came very close to trading Asik to Boston – but ultimately that deal fell apart. According to Sporting News, that trade probably isn’t going to happen before the deadline. Moreover, it’s unlikely that Asik and Lin will be moved anywhere at this point.
“It is a tough sell to bring something like that to your owner,” one league executive told Sporting News. “You have got to tell him, ‘We’re getting a pretty good player, an $8 million player. Oh, but we have to pay him $15 million. We will be giving him LeBron (James) money. That’s OK, right?’ That’s not really a conversation you want to have.”
For what it’s worth, there are worse problems to have than being able to call Lin your point guard. The 25-year-old is one of the most talented offensive players in the league. And if he ultimately helps Houston win a title this year, nobody will remember the fact that Daryl Morey has been trying to get rid of him since before Howard was officially signed.
Are the Houston Rockets considering trading Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to the Brooklyn Nets for Deron Williams? In order to fully understand that rumored deal, you need to take a few steps back.
When the Brooklyn Nets first emerged as a major player in the NBA free agent market, they had a vision in mind. Deron Williams would be their cornerstone. At the time he was recognized as one of the league’s best point guards, and a guy you could pair with any other superstar in the league. Their other target would be Dwight Howard.
Over the past two years, the Nets have made numerous attempts to acquire Howard – more than once when he was with the Orlando Magic, and at least once when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers. Obviously it never panned out. Brooklyn, because of its massive payroll, could only acquire Howard via trade, and nobody ever wanted to pull the trigger on a swap with them.
Howard eventually landed with the Houston Rockets, and he seems relatively happy there.
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Rockets and Nets briefly discussed a trade that would put Howard and Williams together – only not exactly the way Brooklyn had in mind way back when. No, this deal would send Lin and Asik to BK, and leave Williams in a Rockets uniform.
Where you come down on this proposed deal depends a lot on how you view the talents involved. Some see Asik as a great piece for the Nets – a squad severely lacking in legitimate bigs right now. Others seem him as a pouty, annoying baby who is more trouble than he’s worth. Some see Lin as a tremendous offensive talent that can be the floor general of any team. Others see him as a huge defensive liability. Some see Williams as one of the most talented point guards in the league. Others see him as an overrated coach killer.
It’s all about perspective.
No matter how you view the pieces involved, chances are this deal won’t happen. There’s just not enough in it for Brooklyn to completely throw in the towel – especially given how awful the Eastern Conference is and likely will be over the next few years.
The Houston Rockets have come to terms with the fact that the only way they will trade Omer Asik is if they include Jeremy Lin in the deal. The Los Angeles Lakers are so desperate for a point guard right now that they signed Kendall Marshall and made inquiries about Iman Shumpert. It stands to reason that, at the very least, these two teams would consider seeing if there was a deal to be made.
Early this weekend, rumors began to circulate online that the Lakers and Rockets might want to do a swap centering around Lin and Asik. What exactly Houston would get out of this deal is unclear, and given how Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol played together last year, it’s questionable if Daryl Morey would really want to repeat that little experiment. Beyond Gasol, the Lakers have nothing that the Rockets would want, so it’s difficult to envision any sort of deal happening.
Gasol’s salary is big enough to cover both Lin and Asik, so from a financial standpoint this sort of deal wouldn’t be a problem. It just clearly doesn’t make either team better. The Lakers would lose offensive production if they swapped Gasol-for-Asik, and Mike D’Antoni has zero use for big men who can’t score effectively. Lin would be a welcome addition, but he probably wouldn’t be enough of a difference-maker to push this trade forward. Besides, L.A. is currently in cost-cutting mode, and whether Lin’s contract justifies his production is still debatable.
It’s clear why this rumor picked up steam this weekend, given the circumstances. Houston’s potential deals for Asik fell apart late last week. The Lakers lost Kobe Bryant for six more weeks and have no one to play point guard. Desperate times call for desperate measures. That said, these aren’t the desperate measures that are going to be taken.
The Houston Rockets will trade Omer Asik at some point in the near future, that much is certain. Based on various whispers, Daryl Morey is also reportedly looking into dealing backup point guard, Jeremy Lin. Thus far the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Bobcats, Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers have all been mentioned as possible destinations for Asik. It is safe to assume that, if Lin gets traded, it will probably be to one of those teams as well.
Lin, 25, was having a great season up until he got injured. In a reserve role, he was providing the Rockets with great production – all the while not clashing with James Harden when it came to ball control the way he did when he was a starter. Unfortunately, the Harvard product hasn’t played in nearly a week. And as recently as two days ago, he was held out of practice with back spasms.
A month ago, Morey could’ve gotten maximum value in a trade for Lin. Now, unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Because of this, if Lin does get moved, and Alan Hahn is just one of many who has heard that this may in fact be the case, it will most likely be in a deal involving Asik – whose trade value is at an all-time low as well.
Here is the latest as it pertains to a trade involving each of the teams noted above:
Celtics: "One possible scenario that has emerged, sources say, is a three-way trade in which Boston lands Asik, Cleveland absorbs the contract of Celtics forward Jeff Green and Houston scores no fewer than one of the future first-round picks it covets for surrendering Asik. Other players would have to be involved in such a trade to make the salary-cap math work, but it's the sort of trade that would fall in line with Cleveland's well-known focus on upgrading its options at small forward."
Sixers: "Sources say the Rockets are conflicted about taking back Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young or the Celtics' Green because each player has two more seasons left on his contract after this one."
Blazers: "The Blazers' name has come up in reports before, based mostly on the idea that they would be interested in an upgrade over Robin Lopez defensively. The Blazers feature the league's best offense but have been middle-of-the-pack-to-bad defensively. They are currently 21st in points per possession allowed."
Cavs: “It’s funny to hear people report that Anderson Varejao is getting traded for Omer Asik,” Brown said while butchering the pronunciation of Asik’s last name. “If I can’t pronounce his name, you know it ain’t going to happen. It’s mind-boggling.”
Bobcats: "They are one of the few teams with an expendable backup center in draft bust Bismack Biyombo. They would have to throw in a better-than-serviceable second player to even get Morey to return their calls, but since they are on our source’s list, they probably have already done so."
The Houston Rockets will definitely deal Omer Asik before this season’s trade deadline. All signs are also pointing to them moving Jeremy Lin, if the right deal comes along.
After something of a disappointing campaign in his first year with the Rockets, Lin blossomed in the first 18 games of this season – ultimately proving himself to be a valuable Sixth Man for a squad with championship aspirations. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be enough for Houston brass.
According to Alan Hahn of ESPN Radio and MSG, there is a very decent chance that Daryl Morey and Co. will opt to move their backup point guard. Details on what sort of deal would be necessary are scarce, however, everyone who has been following the Rockets can figure it out. He will likely be involved in a package deal with Asik.
Given the fact that Asik isn’t netting Houston the sort of offers they were hoping for, it makes sense.
Thus far, the likeliest destinations for Asik, and by extension Lin, appear to be the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers. The former is pretty stacked at point guard, but you would assume that at least one guy would be sent back in any potential trade. And it’s no secret that Atlanta has had their eyes on Asik for a while. Similarly, Cleveland doesn’t need another point guard, per se, but they’ll likely find a place for Lin anyway should the right deal come along.
The main problem here is that, if the Rockets trade Lin, they become very thin at point guard. They need someone to go back in the deal for it to make sense. Unless that happens, they may end up having to keep Lin. And if they can’t use Lin as a sweetener in a potential Asik deal, they may end up getting far less for their disgruntled big man than they were hoping for.
Omer Asik’s decision to dump his old agent, Andy Miller, and sign with Arn Tellum of the Wasserman Media Group means that him getting traded by the Houston Rockets is inevitable. It also means that, with his trade value being at an all-time low right now, Daryl Morey will have to sweeten the deal somehow. That additional sweetener may end up having to be Jeremy Lin.
Asik, 27, has made it no secret that he wants out of Houston. And seeing as he is averaging just four points and seven rebounds this year, all the while remaining extremely pouty, the Rockets would be happy to oblige. The problem right now is that, according to at least one report, Morey wants a lot for his one-time prized free agent acquisition. And in a year where draft picks are worth more than they typically have been in recent memory, it’s unlikely that he’ll get anything of value for his disgruntled big man.
Lin, 25, has had a stellar 2013-14 campaign thus far. After everyone wondered if Linsanity was ancient history, the former Harvard standout bounced back strong this year – proving himself to be one of the league’s most valuable reserves. If the Rockets want to trade Asik and get something of value back, chances are teams will want Lin in return.
This week, Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Philadelphia 76ers have interest in acquiring Asik. The problem, however, is that trading Thaddeus Young for Asik seems to be a ripoff if you’re Philly brass. Lin would be a solid throw-in, but unfortunately the Sixers already have a promising young point guard. They don’t need another. And Lin is best served starting on a team where he doesn’t have to share the ball with a possession-dominating two-guard – so the Sixers aren’t as ideal for him as say, the Boston Celtics, are.
Houston is said to be very interested in pairing Dwight Howard with Ryan Anderson, but thus far the New Orleans Pelicans have shown little interest in parting ways with him. Besides with Jrue Holiday at point, they don’t need Lin either. And with Eric Gordon boasting the 18th highest usage rate in the NBA, Lin likely would have found himself in a position eerily similar to the one he encountered in Houston beside James Harden.
The Blazers were said to be interested in Asik for a bit, however, they are on a roll right now and it seems as though management doesn’t want to rock the boat.
Although these three destinations are the ones people are calling Asik’s likeliest landing spots, none of them make as much sense as the Celtics.
The Houston Rockets have made it no secret that they are looking to make a big trade. The Philadelphia 76ers started this season off extremely impressively, but have since fallen to 7-15 through 22 games. With Houston being a championship contender and Philly being a team looking to rebuild, could there be a trade in the works between the two?
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, maybe. In a recent report, he insisted that “the notion that the Sixers are a viable destination for (Omer) Asik is increasingly making the rounds." Apparently, the fact that Sam Hinkie likes Asik, coupled with Thaddeus Young being a piece that the Rockets covet, has made Philly a kind of, sort of frontrunner in the Asik Sweepstakes.
The problem with this deal is that it makes very little sense for the Sixers. Why would they give up Young, even if he is in the final year of his deal, for a guy with career averages of five points and seven rebounds? Last year, with no one taking touches or space in the middle away from him, Asik averaged 10 points and 11 rebounds per game. If that’s his peak, is this deal worth it? What about when you take into account the fact that Nerlens Noel will make his triumphant debut next year?
What would really put this deal over the top for Philly is the inclusion of Jeremy Lin. Although Lin has been a fantastic player for Houston this year, it’s hard to see a scenario where Daryl Morey sees his as untouchable. And a package of Asik plus Lin suddenly becomes a lot more impressive.
The only real problem with it is that, Philly, unlike say the Boston Celtics who would have to give up Rajon Rondo in the trade, already have a great point guard. So they don’t really need Lin. Before the season started and everyone knew how good Michael-Carter Williams was, this deal would’ve made more sense. Now, however, not so much.
The Houston Rockets were seriously considering trading Jeremy Lin during the preseason. Team brass won’t admit it now, but it was a legitimate option right up until the Dwight Howard signing. As soon as Daryl Morey brought in his new big name center, talk turned from Lin getting traded to Omer Asik being dealt.
Before the season began, Lin agreed to come off the bench behind Patrick Beverley. It was a move that many fans had called for, given the way Houston’s roster is set up, and it worked out beautifully. Prior to his injury, Lin’s resurgence was one of the NBA’s best stories of the year.
The same couldn’t be said for Asik.
Kevin McHale, much as he did last year with Lin, tried desperately to shove a square peg into a round hole. It didn’t work. Now Houston is really looking to move Asik, but there’s one problem: His trade value is at an all-time low. The New York Daily News reported earlier this week that Morey wants two first round picks for Asik. That’s a joke. The only way he could get anything even remotely close to that offer is if he throws Lin in.
Originally there was some talk about Asik, and just Asik, going to the Portland Trail Blazers or New Orleans Pelicans. The latter squad isn’t willing to meet the asking price, and the former is on too hot of a streak right now to give up anything of value.
Earlier in the week, some internet chatter started up about a Lin-Asik package landing with the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, or New York Knicks.
Let’s be clear: Neither the Lakers nor the Knicks will pull the trigger on a deal of this sort. Yes, L.A. needs both a young(er) big and point guard, but Mitch Kupchak is in cost-cutting mode right now. Besides, the Lakers wouldn’t be able to meet the draft pick asking price. Ditto for the Knicks, who are in a full-on tailspin right now.
That leaves the Celtics. Ever since this summer, we’ve been arguing that Lin and Asik would be great in Boston. Both guys would be free to flourish in the starting lineup, and essentially they would play the roles that they envisioned themselves playing when they first came to Houston. In return, the Rockets would get back a starting point guard worthy of playing on a championship team in Rajon Rondo. It’s as close to fair value as either team could get.
Will Lin plus Asik-for-Rondo happen? Probably not, just because it’s hard to pull deals of this magnitude off. But it certainly makes a lot more sense than some of the other ideas floating around.
The Houston Rockets are reportedly demanding two first round picks for Omer Asik. This is troublesome for several reasons. First and foremost: He’s having a terrible year. After averaging 10.1 points and 11 rebounds in his first season with the Rockets, Asik’s averages are down to 4.4 points and 6.8 rebounds. His trade value has never been lower. On top of that, Houston’s frontline is much better without him in the starting lineup than with him. That also doesn’t help his trade value. And finally, because the demand for Asik is so weak right now, Daryl Morey will likely have to throw in a Jeremy Lin if he really wants the move to happen.
Asik, 27, is owed $15 million next year. When it became apparent that the Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans weren’t piquing Morey’s interest, there was some aimless speculation that the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks might be interested in pursuing some sort of transaction with the Rockets. Well, as noted by Alan Hahn, that can’t happen.
Sure, the Lakers need both a young point guard and a big man, but even if they were willing to mortgage their remaining financial flexibility for Lin and Asik, they don’t have any draft picks worth swapping for. Same goes for the Knicks. Even if they were down to tie themselves into a financial pretzel to bring in a couple of roleplayers, something the franchise did on numerous occasions in the Isiah Thomas era, they lack the picks necessary to make this thing happen.
So what does that mean?
It means that if Asik and Lin get moved, Boston remains the likeliest destination. It’s a deal that makes way too much sense to ignore. The Celtics will need to get rid of Rondo sooner or later, and the only piece that Morey’s squad lacks at this point is an All-Star starting point guard. Lin and Asik would get the opportunity to play the roles they thought they would play prior to James Harden and Dwight Howard being added, and Houston would get a one who functions better as a passer than shooter.
At the moment, Boston-Houston is the only sensible deal that’s being discussed. Everything else is just noise.