The Houston Rockets unquestionably took the biggest headlines of NBA Free Agency this summer when they emerged as the winners of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. In signing Howard, the Rockets are getting arguably the best center in the league. However, that also means that they have to figure out what they are going to do with their starting center from last year, Omer Asik.
Soon after the signing of Dwight, rumors began circulating that Asik wanted out of Houston. A few days later, his camp reiterated those feelings that Asik wished to be traded. As everything stands right now, though, it doesn’t appear that the Rockets have any intention of dealing Asik or that there aren’t any deals out there that are to their liking.
If Asik is in a Rockets uniform next season, which all signs seem to point to at the moment, the Rockets have to find a way to get him on the floor. Playing as Dwight’s backup, a role that will likely only necessitate about 10-15 minutes per game, really isn’t sufficient for Asik, especially considering what he showed last year.
In just his third season in the league, Asik started all 82 games for the Rockets. He averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 30 minutes per game and shot 54.1 percent from the floor. Given his limited experience in the league prior to last season, he showed a ton of promise that the Rockets have to want to continue to develop.
Given all of these factors, one possible option for the Rockets would be to play Asik at the power forward position. Considering that the power forward was a problem position for the Rockets last season, averaging 3.4 PER points less than opposing power forwards, Asik would help answer that call. Moreover, he and Dwight would be a force defensively and on the glass if they were on the floor at the same time.
Houston may be reluctant to put Asik and Howard on the floor at the four and five next season after how poorly Dwight worked with Pau Gasol last season, however, it’s something that the Rockets have to take into consideration. It would get Asik on the floor so that they aren’t wasting his talent and could potentially improve their team in the process. If anything, it’s definitely worth their consideration.