Posted July 13, 2013

Rockets GM Daryl Morey says stars want to keep Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin

NBA
(Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik received endorsements from Dwight Howard and James Harden, according to GM Daryl Morey. (Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey reiterated his stance that the team plans to keep high-paid 2012 starters Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin during Saturday’s introductory press conference for Dwight Howard.

But this time, Morey said that he was not the only one who has made the case to keep the two.

“The reality is James (Harden) and Dwight (Howard) want to play with Jeremy and Omer,” Morey said, according to The Houston Chronicle‘s Jonathan Feigen. “I’ve been kicked down to assistant GM. They’re going to be here.”

GOLLIVER: Rockets introduce ‘Rocketman’ Dwight Howard with press conference, video

Both players signed three-year, $25-million deals as restricted free agents last offseason. Asik started all 82 games during the season, averaging 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds, while Lin averaged 13.4 points and 6.1 assists before suffering injuries and being replaced by Patrick Beverly during the playoffs.

Morey particularly praised the 27-year-old Asik, who served as Joakim Noah’s backup for the Bulls during his first two seasons, during Saturday’s press conference.

From The Chronicle:

“When we didn’t have Omer out there last year, we sucked,” Morey said. “I mean, we were terrible. That was where we lost games. When we had Omer out there, we were a top 10 defensive team. Now we have a defensive player of the year and Omer. I mean that position is so important if you’re going to have a solid defense. Now we have two of the best in the league. I’m very excited.”


15 comments
Nick212
Nick212

What annoys me about Lakers fans is that they feel entitled.  As if free agents should be BEGGING to play in LA.  I am a New Yorker and a lot of New Yorkers have a similar mentality.  "Jeremy Lin shouldn't have signed a $25mm contract, he should have agreed to play here for $10-15mm!!"

Did the Lakers forget that they traded damaged goods (Bynum) to get Howard in the first place?  Howard doesn't owe you jokers anything.

Aaron14
Aaron14

The best player Howard ever played with (and probably ever will), Kobe, was someone Howard would mock and conduct personal attacks towards but he is clamoring to play with Jeremy Lin. WHAT AN ABSOLUTE LOSER.

Aaron14
Aaron14

Asik is bumming. Morey is trying all he can to hide the fact Asik would just be in the way with Howard out there so that leaves about 5-10 minutes for Asik. OUCH! The whole world knows you have to deal him or have a very disgruntled and miserable player on the roster that is not properly being utilized. Asik also loses a LOT of money on his next contract by being a back up instead of proving he is a top flight center.

lionoah
lionoah

That's great news for the Rockets. Before, when Asik said he wanted out, Morey lost a ton of leverage. Now that the superstars want him to stay, he has more leverage than he did before. Either Asik stays and the Rockets front line is a beast, or he gets traded and they get some very good returns 

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

Asik is too valuable to just back up Howard...

nategatorc
nategatorc

Moreyspeak for I think I can get a better offer once the season starts. 

Borjo
Borjo

We'll see what the future holds ........

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@Aaron14 Kobe Bryant wasn't even the best player Dwight played with on the Lakers last year.  That would be Pau Gasol.

Only Lakers fans and Kobe Bryant think he's still an elite player.  He's an elite shooter now and that's it. Until Bryant retires, the Lakers won't win anything.  He makes too much money and demands too much say without being the elite, hall of fame player he used to be.

Howard made the right decision. He's going to a market that knows what it is to win, but doesn't feel entitled to it as NBA royalty.  He is still going to be compared to one of the greatest centers of all time, he's still going to have pressure to win, but he's going to be doing it with an up and coming star, a good coach, and a deep roster, instead of a roster of has-beens and a hack coach.

If Dwight had gone back to LA he'd have been miserable and hated.  Now at least he has a chance to start over and become a winner.

ClingingtoSanity
ClingingtoSanity

@Aaron14 - Your a little confused, Shaq is the center who mocked Kobe. I remember when Shaq wanted Kobe to go out partying with him, and Kobe would rather stay in and read a book or something and Shaq publicly ridiculed him as a timid kid who was too scared to go out and mix it up. Not the only personal attack Shaq subjected Kobe to, just the first one that comes to mind. If you have an actual example of Howard mocking Kobe, I challenge you to present it. And Howard is not "clamoring" to play with Lin, he's just being supportive of a new teammate. You Laker fans really need to get a grip. The man saw a better opportunity with another team, quit acting like you got stood up at the prom. The man tried to play through injury for you, and instead of respecting his courage of playing hurt, ya'll attack him because the Lakers flopped. No wonder he wanted to leave.      

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@Aaron14 Yea, one of the main reasons Omer left Chicago was for the opportunity to be a starter and make elite center money, which he was well on the way to doing this year.  It's not like he wasn't appreciated in Chicago, he just had to deal with the fact that Joakim Noah is an all star caliber player.  As a backup behind Dwight he's going to be frustrated again.

I expect they will find a new home for him in the last year of his contract.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@lionoah The leverage is the same either way:  Making Asik and Asik's agent unhappy possibly influences whether other players will want to sign there in the future.  Otherwise, he's under contract, and can't really do much other than complain.

At some point, some one will offer them a good deal for Asik, and he'll be moved.  I'm not sure any one else really wants Jeremy Lin.

Aaron14
Aaron14

@Bearsclone @Aaron14 WHA?!?!?!?!   Do you even watch Laker Basketball??? Pau better than Kobe???!!??  Incidentally, not that your statement would be true otherwise, but Pau was injured for a good portion of the year. 

How do you "used to be  a hall of famer"??  Either you are or you are not and EVERYONE KNOWS KOBE BRYANT IS A HALL OF FAMER.

Howard and "made the right decision" have rarely been uttered in the same sentence. He is going to a market that cares more about RODEO and HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL than it does BASKETBALL, all for LESS MONEY!!! 

And FYI, Harden and his feet of stone will NEVER have the career Kobe will finish with even in Harden's wildest dreams. THAT IS WHY Dwight went to Houston, because he wants to be handed a leadership position because he is not capable of earning one.

Someone tell Dwight leaders don't lead, leaders are followed.

Aaron14
Aaron14

@ClingingtoSanity @Aaron14 They were reports of Dwight mocking Kobe in the locker room at the All-Star game and Shaq doesn't need to mock people, Shaq calls people out. Mocking is the cowards blanket.

Or another way of putting it would be that the Lakers did everything they could to work through the fact that Dwight was out of the ENTIRE pre-season (and ALOT of practice time) and the Laker team did all they could with him to help the team coalesce. THAT will be the big advantage Houston will get with Howard this year, a pre-season and time to jell instead of having to put it together when it counts like the Lakers HAD TO DO WITH DWIGHT.

BathazarXavier
BathazarXavier

@Bearsclone @Aaron14 i disagree that there was any reason for asik leaving chicago other than money. asik has asked to be traded back to chicago but his contract (and lin's) will be hard to move because of the "poison pill" way in which houston put it together. houston's gm made no friends by using the new cba this way, and nobody's going to be in a hurry to help him out.