Houston Rockets: Latest On Omer Asik


May 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (3) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A few hours after Dwight Howard’s decision to go to the Houston Rockets was first announced, ESPN reported that current Rockets Omer Asik has no interest in being Howard’s backup, or even play next to him.

This immediately lead to the speculation that Asik could be involved in a sign-and-trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith.  The Hawks have been open about discussing a sign-and-trade with Smith to the Rockets even before Howard made his final decision.  Both Smith and Howard are good friends, going back to their AAU days in the Atlanta area, and have talked about being possible teammates in the past.

What the Rockets would send to the Hawks is still very much in the air.  Reports came out Friday evening that a package centered around Asik and Jeremy Lin could be in the works.  But according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, there’s still a long way to go until that deal can seem likely.

Lots of gray area around possible Josh Smith to Rockets s&t….could involve Asik and not Lin…up in the air rt now

— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 6, 2013

The other potential landing spot for Asik may be the New Orleans Pelicans, who is looking for a starting center after trading away Robin Lopez earlier in the week.  According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the deal would involve Ryan Anderson going to the Rockets.

New Orleans has shown strong interest in acquiring Rockets center Omer Asik, w/ an offer likely centered on Ryan Anderson, sources tell Y!

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 6, 2013

Anderson was a former teammate of Howard’s in Orlando and complemented him perfectly, as a stretch power forward with outside range and space the floor.  This deal would make a lot of sense for both teams, but the Pelicans and Rockets aren’t even close to agreeing to a deal.

The Philadelphia 76ers are seen as a possible destination as well for Asik, because of the relationship he has with former Rockets vice president and current general manager Sam Hinkie.  Hinkie was a big part in the Rockets decision to sign Asik last offseason.  He also recently acquired Royce White, who the Rockets drafted last summer.

Rockets Open To Keeping Asik….For Now

CBS Sports’ Ken Berger reported Saturday morning that the Rockets could be open to keeping Asik, as well as Jeremy Lin.

Though they won’t rule out post-Howard trades, the Rockets are now open to keeping Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, league source says.

— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 6, 2013

As of now, Rockets have no deals in place and no plans for deals, source says.

— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 6, 2013

That might be the best approach for Daryl Morey and the rest of the Rockets front office.  Asik has pretty decent trade value so the Rockets must find the best possible deal for them. More to come later.