The Los Angeles Lakers had the option of trading Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets when it became apparent that he wasn’t happy with the way things were going last year. They opted not to. Now the roles have reversed, albeit in a slightly different way.
Omer Asik is currently playing ten fewer minutes per game because of Howard’s arrival, and his totals have nosedived this season. The Rockets tried to convince him over the summer that they could make it work with both him and Howard in the starting lineup, but obviously they can’t. Reports coming out of Houston say that all involved have come to terms with the fact that a deal is inevitable.
According to the Latino Post, the Lakers supposedly have interest in acquiring Asik. This is a bizarre and somewhat unbelievable rumor, but let’s start at the beginning. Here is the LP report: “The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have the desire to trade for Houston Rockets center Omer Asik, though the lack of assets they have make them a long shot candidate for the serviceable big man, a reliable league source disclosed on Tuesday.”
The deal would supposedly involve L.A. shipping Pau Gasol to Houston.
Although the Latino Post story doesn’t mention Lin’s name, it’s pretty clear that he would have to be involved. The Lakers desperately need a point guard, and Lin has shined with the Rockets this year.
The problem with this admittedly juicy bit of speculation is that it makes no sense for anyone. Asik is unhappy in Houston and his minutes are down, sure, but why would Kevin McHale want to deal with an old, injury prone player like Gasol? The Rockets are young and have their whole future in front of them – Gasol is 33 years old and shooting 39 percent this season. He’s a liability at this point, not an asset.
Along the same lines, why would the Lakers want to tie up money in Lin and Asik? Sure they need a point guard and a young big, but neither of these guys would push the franchise any closer to a championship.
Bottom line: Will this deal happen? Probably not.