Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports
According to Sam Smith of Bulls.com, the Houston Rockets would be willing to deal Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik before next season begins.
“But the Houston Rockets could be the real threat. They have a young star in James Harden and the possibilities of putting together a fearsome team.They have quietly been sending out signals around the NBA they’d trade Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, both of whom have enhanced their value since being lured last summer as free agents and were in the grand plan of GM Daryl Morey possibility to be used — as seemingly all his players are — as targets to be able to upgrade.
Imagine Houston with Harden is able to sign Howard. Then maybe they work a deal to move Lin to the Jazz, who need a point guard, for maybe someone like Al Jefferson. And Asik as one of the league’s leading rebounders would certainly net a perimeter shooting threat. It’s a potentially attractive package to present to Howard that the Lakers probably cannot match.
And that would be if the Lakers could persuade Bryant to take a back seat Howard. Anyone giving odds on that one?”
Let me start off by saying Sam Smith has been known for coming off with some off-the-wall rumors that never make sense. These quotes were pulled from a post he did about the Lakers trading Kobe Bryant, which will happen when hell freezes over.
With that being said, this doesn’t seem that unrealistic. The fact is that Lin and Asik were not the Rockets 1st, 2nd or 3rd options. They were the guys Daryl Morey and Houston went after in desperation and hoped they would pan out. Omer Asik has lived up to the hype while Lin has shown flashes of his potential.
Lin is a fan favorite not just in Houston, but all around the world. Most of his fans are not actual fans of the Rockets, they just followed Lin there. His popularity may not be as high as it was in New York but he was 2nd behind Chris Paul in All-Star voting for point guards.
The Rockets could definitely upgrade over Lin, but it’s not just Lin’s fault. James Harden dominates the ball with his playmaking abilities. The Rockets would be best served with a guy who can distribute the ball and knock down long range shots with ease. Lin is also a guy who needs to dominate the ball to be effective. As long as Harden is here Lin will never live up to his full potential. Even if a trade doesn’t happen before next season it will only be a matter of time in my opinion, unless Lin upgrades his shooting abilities and moving without the ball.
Asik has more than just been a steal, he’s lived up to his contract by being one of the most improved players this season. He hasn’t even finished a full season as a starter and he’s already one of the best centers in the league. His offense still needs to be worked on some but his defense is among the elite. With that being said, it’s almost too much to ask of him to be something similar to Dwight Howard, who the Rockets have been in love with the past couple of seasons.
Dwight has had a very disappointing season so far but is still the best center in the league. His talent, athleticism and strength are unmatched at his position. As much as I love Asik’s game, if the Rockets have the opportunity to steal Howard and he’s willing to sign with Houston long-term than they will be forced to pull the trigger.
The Rockets are definitely more focused on what’s happening right now as Houston is fighting for a playoff spot. But once this season is over Daryl Morey will go back to figuring out ways to improve this team.