The Sixers also have a chance of unloading Evan Turner’s contract. Turner has taken big strides but probably won’t return to Philadelphia once he’s a free agent next summer. He is also more of a sidekick than franchise player, despite being a former NCAA National Player of the Year.
Turner also has had maturity issues. He has been joking around a lot, everything from talking trash to former teammate Andre Iguodala to posting photos of his receipts on his Instagram account.
The Sixers are technically in rebuilding mode even with their early success, so they can sacrifice Turner’s 23 points, 1.1 steals and 6.3 rebounds for a rebounding center who averages 7.2 rebounds and could be an easier trading piece this summer as a way to increase their chances of getting the top draft pick.
The Rockets can be enticed to take on Turner considering the team’s struggles pairing Asik with Howard in the front-court. Turner could be an answer for the Rockets, and Asik can fill in for Nerlens Noel this season in Philly. The Sixers could also throw injured journeyman Jason Richardson and Kwame Brown into the mix to help pull off the deal.
The undersized Sixers have been dealing with injuries and currently have Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen, Brandon Davies, Daniel Orton and Thaddeus Young in their front-court. Orton recently came back from knee problems, and Allen has been recovering from a knee injury he suffered this summer.
The only issue holding up such a deal is Asik’s $8.4 million salary this season compared to Turner’s $6.7 million. However, the Sixers could rid themselves of Brown’s $2.9 million contract, which saves the Sixers some cap space and someone who is injury-prone.
Asik could also give the Sixers an interior presence they currently lack ranking last in the NBA in points allowed. Even if the Sixers had difficulty trading Asik, he could be paired with Nerlens Noel. Asik can provide more offensive power and could help Noel develop.