Many believed, prior to the start of the 2013-2014 campaign, that center Omer Asik was a goner after the team signed free agent big man Dwight Howard. In fact, Asik even formally asked for a trade and general manager Daryl Morey denied his request.
With Asik’s value declining, is there any way the Rockets can still move him, let alone get anything valuable in return? According to Basketball Insiders’ Susan Bible, there is still a real possibility.
“The Asik situation is just crazy, I will say that, I, personally, think he’ll be traded by the deadline,” Bible said. “His value has just plummeted, but they definitely could get something of value in return. If I were Morey, he’d be gone.
Asik will likely return to action from a thigh injury, shortly, and thereafter be traded. His defensive presence is still something that interests many teams around the league, but the tough aspect of a potential deal is his $8 million cap number for next year. Many teams don’t want to put that much commitment into a guy who’s been hurt, especially before a summer of free agency like we’re about to see.
At this point, the Rockets are better off moving on from Asik. Whether they like it or not, he isn’t overjoyed to be a part of the team and they know it. The best-case scenario is to trade him now, before his value continues to go down.
If you ask me, Morey’s ego got in the way of granting Asik’s request earlier in the season and, quite frankly, hurt the Rockets more than it helped them. It’s better to get something done later rather than never, and continue to stay just short of reaching a championship-caliber roster.