Posted July 07, 2013

Report: Center Omer Asik formally asked Houston Rockets to trade him

NBA
(Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

Omer Asik started all 82 games for the Rockets last season, averaging 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds. (Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

Omer Asik, the Houston Rockets’ starting center last season, has formally asked the team to trade him in the wake of the Dwight Howard signing, ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst is reporting.

The Rockets have “no plans” to trade Asik, however, and have turned down all offers so far, according to the report.

The 27-year-old, who started all 82 games last season after serving as Joakim Noah’s backup in Chicago for two years, contacted the team to ask for a trade “shortly after” Howard announced his decision on Friday night.

THOMSEN: Rockets better with Howard, but still have a long way to go

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JENKINS: Through all the turmoil, Dwight Howard is now seeing clearly

Asik averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds in 30.0 minutes per game last season, but would surely see his minutes cut if he stayed with the Rockets. In an interview at the Orlando Summer League, head coach Kevin McHale expressed confidence that Asik could play alongside Howard and be a key piece for Houston next season.

“With Omer, he had a great year for us last year and really became one of the top centers in the league,” McHale said. “It’s just when you have an opportunity to get Dwight, it’s hard not to. I’m sure Omer right now is a little down in the dumps, but we’ll pick him up.”

McHale said he can see lineups when Asik and Howard would play together in addition to Asik, who along with Howard would create perhaps the best defensive and rebounding rotation in the league, backing Howard up. McHale called to mind the 1980s when the Rockets used lineups with Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson.

“You do play two bigs,” McHale said. “You have to get spacing and you have to make sure your small guys have got to make sure they keep the court spaced.”


32 comments
nola70118
nola70118

Howard is the most overrated center in the league.  Yeah, he'll get his numbers.  But so did Ricky Davis when he was in the NBA.  I'll leave it at that.

Shooter McGavin 19711
Shooter McGavin 19711

Clearly, Kevin McHale hasn't been paying attention.  This is not the same NBA that could have two bigs like Sampson and Olajuwon on the floor at the same time.  Too many teams go small ball - with speed and quickness - and the Rockets would get killed having Asik and Howard on the floor at the same time.  Asik signed with Houston to be a starter - and in signing Howard, they owe it to Asik to trade him somewhere he can start.  As a previous post said, Asik gives you 70 percent of what DH brings to the table, for half the price. Time will tell, but I don't see Asik and Howard working together.  And if DH starts slow, and the fans want Asik, that won't be good for the player with the thinnest skin the entire NBA.  So yeah, keep Asik around McHale.  I want to see D12 cry.  Again.

GlennAllen
GlennAllen

So that's where Judge Reinhold has been all this time.

wes
wes

Well... if Asik knew how to play defense... he guarded people with his hands in his pockets!! I despise Howard, but... DAMN they are now a better defensive team...

FoxDoucette
FoxDoucette

This will be a disaster on multiple levels.  Never mind that Asik gives you a good 70-75 percent of what Howard gives you at half the price.  Asik's role is perfect for Houston's long-range offense.  He's got a good basketball IQ around the rim, which reflects in his offensive rebounding rate, and oh by the way, he hasn't now gotten himself run out of town in two potential title situations.  Enjoy the mid-first-round draft hell and Knicks-like cap problems, Rockets fans.  At least you'll make the playoffs.
http://championshipd.com/2013/07/dwight-howard-a-waste-of-the-houston-rockets-money/

JonCBK
JonCBK

Houston needs to keep Asik. Basically Houston's defense was terrible whenever Asik was on the bench. Swapping Howard for Asik leaves Houston with the same problem when Howard is on the bench. They need both guy as they need a great defensive center on the court at all times to cover up for the defensive shortcomings of the rest of the team. 

McHale has the right approach. Don't trade him and kiss his butt to make him feel better. 

Playing them together seems like a disaster on offense. But if the other team's scoring is made just as bad  it might be a possible lineup. People are talking only about rebounding, which is important. But Asik is also an elite defender. And obviously Howard is elite as well. The paint would be completely shut down if both those guys were on the court. Post ups against either of those players is not productive. There would be no double teams creating kick out for the threes. Drives into the paint would be futile. So what would opposing teams do besides pull up jumpers from distance? And no chance at the offensive board on those plays. 

Chris10
Chris10

Sounds like Omer has been paying attention and doesn't want any part of the Howard circus.  The whole team should request a trade and Mchale had better start packing and updating the resume.

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

I don't blame Asik, in fact I respect his attitude. He wants to be the man - unlike that punk Howard whose main concern is that the Rockets bring in a third superstar to help hide his shortcomings. I am sure McHale wants to keep Asik because he knows he cannot leave Howard on the floor in a close game in the last three minutes.

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

Why does this article about Asik feature a picture of Judge Reinhold?

Steven17
Steven17

As I said before, Howard will become a cancer to this team.  He's not going to want to share the floor and be a part of plays where he's not the main man.  Don't need anyone to take my word for it - you'll see it soon enough.  I don't blame Asik.  I think he's right to request a trade.  He played great for them and was an integral part of their revival.  Bringing in a cancer like Howard sends him a message that he needs to look elsewhere for his future.  

cjsamms
cjsamms

On the one hand, I feel bad for Asik because it seems like he's been discarded after a break out season and playing a major role in their revival. 

On the other hand, this is a chance for Morey to send a preemptive message to Howard right now that he's not going to cave in to any "trade me" demands down the road.

Cherrie
Cherrie

Splitter for Asik!  Come on, Coach Pop!!!

AndrewJones
AndrewJones

The Rockets have “no plans” to trade Asik, however, and have turned down all offers so far, according to the report.     

 They cant dump his poison pill contract, and all "offers" so far must have been for less than nothing.

Revsoul2
Revsoul2

Sounds like McHale has a much better grasp on how to use "bigs" than D'antoni

John4
John4

Omer Asik might be a little shortsighted here.  With him and Howard, rebounds will belong to Houston.  Also, Harden is a good rebounder and defender.   This is a great situation for Omer Asik here.  Howard gets all the pressure (and I mean ALL) and Howard will have to defend the other teams' best big man every game.  Asik gets automatic backside help as well.  Offensively, the pick and roll game will be a huge improvement from this past season.  Where would he be in a better situation than he currently has at Houston?

6marK6
6marK6

he has trade value

wes
wes

@JonCBK Asik guarding people with his hands by his hips is hardly good defense... suck it! Howard is now a Rocket... He is a much better player than Asik ever dreamed to be... and I hate Howard...

Mike26
Mike26

@Chris10 There's absolutely zero evidence in all of Howard's time in Houston that indicates that keeping Asik (or moving him) will have any negative effects at all.

AndrewJones
AndrewJones

@John4 Omer Asik is the next Pau Gasol. This will not work for Omer.  Dwight wants to be the featured guy posting up on the low block. Only one problem, he's got ZERO post moves!  Gonna miss his D, but not his offense! McHale wont be able to teach him anymore than all the others that came before him.

jbk1234
jbk1234

@John4 This will be a train wreck.  Spacing will be horrible and you will insure that Dwight is easily doubled.  Lanes will be clogged for Harden.    Get a stretch four for him or assets you can turn into a stretch four.  

Mike26
Mike26

@6marK6 Not enough value to get enough talent back at specific positions (PF, PG).

Azeron
Azeron

@wes @JonCBK Asik is locked up for two more years.  He's not worth that poison pill third year so the Rockets should trade him by the deadline.

Chris10
Chris10

@Mike26 @Chris10 in all of Howard's time in Houston?!? He can't even officially sign till the 10th so technically he's not even a Rocket yet.  The only negative effect stands 7 foot something and takes no responsibility for anything that goes wrong at all.  The only thing Howard has proven through the years so far is he has ridiculous talent (that largely goes to waste) and is willing to throw anyone under the bus so he can be liked

John4
John4

@jbk1234 jbk - certainly your comment is an intelligent one.  Another possibility would have the Rockets playing Howard 30 minutes per game at center and Asik 18.  They are both very good defensive rebounders, and this use of Asik could keep Howard less fatigued during the course of an 82 game season.  

Azeron
Azeron

@Chris10 @Mike26 Get Howard's sour grapes out your mouth.  You are embarrassing yourself.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@John4 @jbk1234 I would say that as an elite professional athlete... he is a fierce competitor and wants  to be playing the best while at his best... I think this speaks well for Asik that he doesn't want to take an easy payday.... but I do see the value for Houston to keep him and spell DH during games with a starting-caliber center

metalkiwis
metalkiwis

@John4 @jbk1234 But being a backup for two years will kill his value on his next contract. Plus he is a competitor and wants to be out there playing and helping his team win. 

John4
John4

@jbk1234 jbk - yes, we're on the same page here.  But why wouldn't Asik want this scenario?  He gets to come off the bench and go after their tired starting center, or go vs. the backup center of the other team.  How many teams have backup centers better than Asik?  Not many.  Asik should realize that he's in a great situation.  And his contract pays him a lot of money.  

jbk1234
jbk1234

@John4 @jbk1234 And that scenario is exactly the one that Asik says is unacceptable.   Not to mention that $8 million plus is a lot of money to pay someone who play 18 minutes per night.  If they wait for people to fill out their rosters, the trade value will only go down.