Omer Asik’s days with the Houston Rockets appear to be numbered. As first reported by the Houston Chronicle, Asik and his agent, Andy Miller, have asked for a trade out of Houston. Asik has seen his minutes drop significantly as well as his starting position vanish. All of this happened, of course, because the team signed center Dwight Howard this offseason.
Last year, Asik was one of the best rebounding and defensive big men in the league. Averaging 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds to go along with a block per game, Asik was a consistent and efficient player in the paint for the most part. He’s been one of the most talented rebounders in the game since entering the league, and has only improved as time has gone by.
That’s one of the reasons he and Miller want out of Houston. According to Miller, one of their goals is to let Asik continue to mature and grow as a player and at this point, that just isn’t happening in Houston.
As the rumors begin to flow now in regards to where Asik will land, one team in particular makes sense. The Rockets are reportedly looking for a first-round pick and/or an impact big man to come off the bench. The Oklahoma City Thunder could offer just that. Since Asik’s salary — for trade purposes — counts about $8 million per year, they would need to find someone to match that in the best case scenario.
Kendrick Perkins and a first round pick sounds about right. Perkins has struggled in Oklahoma City, and the Thunder continue to drop his minutes as the season wears on. Asik could be a guy to come in right away and start alongside Serge Ibaka in the front court, giving them a strong defensive presence they’ve been lacking at the center position.
Perkins’ salary is right around where it needs to be to make this trade happen, but would the Rockets bite? I’m not sure. I’m also not sure what other teams out there would be willing to surrender an “impact big man” and a pick for Asik. We’ll begin to find that out as time goes on, but the Thunder would absolutely come out on top if they made this deal happen.