The Houston Rockets are openly looking to trade Omer Asik. Along the same lines, with Jeremy Lin’s value at an all time high and the team in need of a legitimate starting point guard, it isn’t a stretch to assume that he is also on the market. Unfortunately, because of what Daryl Morey wants in return for Asik, Houston may end up with both still on the roster come season’s end.
Asik, 27, has wanted out of Houston ever since the signing of Dwight Howard. All involved tried to make it work at the beginning of the season, however, Asik’s dwindling production combined with how good Houston’s frontline has looked with him out of the starting rotation made everyone believe that him getting dealt was inevitable. Lin, 25, is currently out with an injury – but prior to that he was playing the best basketball of his career. He has been mentioned numerous times in a scenario that would involve him landing with the Boston Celtics and Rajon Rondo becoming a Rocket.
According to CBS Sports, though, Morey’s asking price for Asik is too high. As a result, a deal for him is becoming increasingly unlikely as the days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months.
Houston's disgruntled center has been unhappy with his role since the Rockets landed Dwight Howard, and the situation isn't going to get any better. After playing four minutes at Philadelphia on Nov. 13 and riding the bench against the Knicks on Nov. 14, Asik finally logged 20-plus minutes in back-to-back games this week for the first time since early November. The limiting factor, of course, is that while Asik counts only $8.4 million against the cap/tax, his actual salary next season is $15 million. Given those constraints and Asik's sad-sack demeanor, one rival GM described the Rockets as "delusional" as far as their asking price for him.
What does that mean? Well, it means the Rockets have two options. One, they can either take the demands for Asik down a notch/throw in a sweetener like Lin. Or two, they can hold on to everyone, roll towards the playoffs with the roster as presently constructed, and bet on Asik not being a divisive enough force in the locker room to wreck their championship hopes.
Which option will they go with? We’ll find out over the next month.