Blogtable: Asik’s Future in Houston

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

This week, we borrow three questions from The Starters season preview podcasts.


Toughest team to read | Asik’s future in Houston | Pick a Wildcat to build around


Does Omer Asik stay in Houston? If yes, why keep him? If no, why not, and where’s he headed?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Well, most players don’t get traded, even those who are ripe for one. And I’ll say he stays right in Houston for a few other reasons, too. One, you rarely see an NBA team with too many big guys. Two, Asik — like Dwight Howard — can keep improving under coach and all-time big man Kevin McHale, maybe even develop some chemistry when he’s on the floor with the All-Star center. And three, one or the other might get hurt before a trade can be concocted. If it’s Asik, then his trade value suffers. If it’s Howard, then Asik’s value to the Rockets soars.

Omer Asik

Omer Asik (Bill Baptist/NBAE)

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comNo. I think the twin towers experiment in Houston will prove unworkable and the Rockets will choose to move Asik rather than have him sit uncomfortably on the bench. A deal that would send him to New Orleans for Howard’s old sidekick from their Orlando days, Ryan Anderson, is a perfect fit move that helps both teams that a needed step forward.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comFor the benefit of their team, Asik needs to finish the season elsewhere because the Rockets need another shooter. After signing Dwight Howard, the popular trade destination for Asik was New Orleans in exchange for sharpshooter Ryan Anderson. NOLA needs size, but not sure Asik would find this situation any more appealing than playing behind Dwight. Asik is owed $16.2 million this season and next, a movable contract for a solid center to be sure. Could the Lakers use a big man? Not sure there’s much trade bait in L.A. Dallas needs a long-term answer in the middle and finally has contracts they should be able to move before the deadline.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comI don’t know where he’s headed, but I think he’s headed somewhere. He is valued around the league for defense and rebounding and so the Rockets will get trade offers. They will probably get attractive trade offers as midseason approaches and the deadline looms. Houston has a lot of reason to be encouraged about the future, but it is not a complete team. Filling holes by trading Asik it closer.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: No. The Rockets have a great pick-and-roll game and the beginnings (Dwight Howard) of a strong defense. Asik is a terrific defender, but with Howard playing 35 minutes a night, Houston isn’t getting full value out of their backup. They have the potential to be the best team in the West and elite on both ends of the floor if they can swap Asik for a forward who can shoot and defend (and that last part eliminates Ryan Anderson). The West is wide open and Houston should go for it.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Asik finishes the season in Houston the same place he starts it, backing up Dwight Howard and accepting his role on a team that has a chance to do big things. No offense to his fans around the world, but Asik is not a player who changes a team’s championship fortunes with his mere presence. He’s a rugged big man you love to have on your roster (just ask the folks in Chicago) and he’ll come in handy around playoff time if the Rockets need to add beef to the frontcourt lineup. This idea that a disgruntled Asik will work his way out of town, though, is a stretch. He’s already been paid handsomely and has a chance to be an impact performer on a quality team in Houston. I’d imagine that’s more appealing than being a starter somewhere that doesn’t offer the same opportunity to win at a high level. The Rockets have no reason to jettison a big man for whatever they could fetch for Asik in a trade.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blogI would say yes, but with Daryl Morey at the helm I guess you have to err on the side of not-caution when it comes to predicting trades. I will say this: If I were running the Rockets, I’d keep Asik around all season. Hey, remember what happened to the NBA team that had too many big guys? Exactly: It hasn’t happened. I get that Asik’s contract is workable and that probably increases his chances of being traded, but I’m just not certain in what world having a big man who can rebound and run the floor and defend to pair alongside Dwight Howard — who has battled injuries in recent years — is a bad thing.

Karan Madhok, NBA.com IndiaI think Asik should be on his way out. With Dwight Howard in the middle, the Rockets need to surround their talented big man with players who can knock down the outside shot. Asik and Howard together in the middle would be a disaster for the speedier Houston offenses, and during the crunch-time free-throw battle. I like the recent talk of sending Asik to New Orleans in exchange for sharp-shooting stretch power forward Ryan Anderson. Anderson enjoyed the best years of his career playing with Howard in Orlando and would be a good fit in Houston. Asik would fit in with the Pelicans, too, slipping into the center position next to Anthony Davis as power forward.

Davide Chinellato, NBA.com ItaliaI don’t think the Asik-Howard frontcourt experiment will work for the Rockets. They’re too similar (I mean, Dwight played PF early in his career but he’s now a true center). So, my guess is Asik will go elsewhere very soon. Where? I don’t know, but there are a lot of teams who could use a center like him. Portland, for instance, could turn into a contender with a center like Asik. But I guess the Rockets would ask LaMarcus Aldridge in return and I just don’t see that happening.

23 Comments

  1. justsayin says:

    Wish they could score Horford for Asik (Maybe throw in a 1st round pick?)

    Each is tired of playing out of position. Horford doesnt want to play center any more than Asik does pf.

  2. Karlo Garcia says:

    Omer Asik does not stay in Houston. Howard does not need another distracting player again. I believe he’s headed to Sacramento or Brooklyn. Trade for John Salmons(has mid range shot,3-pointers) or Reggie Evans(hustle,rebounder). Asik is a good fit for either of those teams.

  3. migsrocks says:

    keep him and loose howard, holding harden and lin down

  4. J says:

    trade for Ryan Anderson or keep him at PF

  5. Zac says:

    Howard has the athleticism to play at PF, he can overpower most PFs. Why not start him there? Other teams will try to lure him out of the paint with PnR, so houston still has Asik down there to get the rebounds

  6. Hahaha says:

    Really hope Asik stays. Nice, tall and awesome guy. Can’t understand why does everybody think Howard will play 35 minutes a night? He has been more injured than an average war veteran for the last year.. 30 minutes to Howard, 18 to Asik at center position, + a couple of minutes together (of course, depends against who are they playing..) and surely the’ll have the best around the basket defense in West!

  7. JB3 says:

    Where is Scottie Pippen when we need him??!!

  8. joshwiththetruth says:

    I’d love to see Thad Young come to Houston from the Sixers for Asik! He’s an athletic 4 who can defend well, run the floor and knock down outside shots. Seems like a good fit in Houston. Plus, all reports indicate he’ll be traded soon anyway, so why not Houston?!

  9. Someone says:

    i swear i have no idea why an Asik-Anderson swap hasn’t happened yet

  10. The Truth says:

    Back in the good old days, David Robinson and Tim Duncan shoot 3s the daylight out of people. Those 2 twin towers will goes down as the greatest shooting big men of all time. I remember Robinson did the sky shot at half court every night, it was amazing….

  11. PC3 @SWHTOWN20 says:

    So Daryl Morey is gonna trade a Top 5 Defensive Center in the NBA, A guy who played all 82games last year (which is unheard of for 7 footers), who lead the league in pulling down the most rebounds last year & is 7 foot tall (inwhich big guys like that dont grow on trees, Asik is like a Dinosaur)…Morey has never made a bad deal why would he just give away Asik (Dinosaur Center) for nothing/A Disaster on Defense (Ryan Anderson)..The Rockets all ready have 4 Ryans & not overpaid in Caspi, Garcia, Dmo & Tjones…Only way u will get Morey attention if Lamarcus Aldridge is Involed

  12. m. cunningham says:

    Take it from a Bulls fan…The Rockets would be stupid to let Asik walk. Front court depth is needed for a long playoff run, and when you have 2 of the better centers in the game under contract, you keep them.
    The Bulls could use his play coming off the bench as a backup to Joakim Noah. Omer’s rebounding and low post scoring is something very few teams have the luxury of having.

  13. byron says:

    I hope they keep him because hes start to grow..bt if u don’t keep him he should go back to the bulls

  14. matttheo says:

    I just can’t see a trade for Ryan Anderson as a plus for Houston. Putting points on the board isn’t a problem Houston has. Even when they’ve run their Asik/Howard lineup (admittedly in a small sample size) the offensive minus has been mitigated by the defensive plus. They did just destroy Memphis (yes preseason) with this lineup a team they are predicted to run into in the playoffs. All he (Anderson) offers is more points. Houston needs a decent starting forward with legitimate range who is ideally a defensive + (which rules out Anderson). They also need a player to be the defensive anchor for the second unit. The defense of that unit was Houston’s biggest minus last year and unless a trade shores that up it isn’t worth it. I think Houston probably needs to get back two players to make it worth trading him. I just don’t see teams that can offer players that can give Houston that and would want Asik back. I like Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes for him. I think Patrick Patterson would be a serviceable upgrade to anything Houston has at PF and he has developed legitimate three point range. He is only a defensive plus compared to what they have, but you don’t need much (for Houston) from this position. His rebounding deficit is also minimized next to Dwight Howard, plus Beverly and Harden are rebounding pluses at their positions. Chuck Hayes was a huge defensive plus (if unconventional) when he was with the Rockets. I know he has battled injuries since then, but I think he is healthy now. I think he could shore up the defense of the second unit and isn’t going to mind being a back up. The problem is Sacremento doesn’t want a starting center, so the deal doesn’t really work. That would mean a three team deal, which is even trickier.

  15. Bob says:

    Asik is going to rot on the bench. Then, get a chance to play when DH hurts his pinkie toe. Asik doesn’t ask for touches and plays with a lot of intensity. It becomes contagious and the team grinds out some tough wins.
    Dwight’s feelings get hurt and says its not fun anymore.
    Besides the prophetic message, Morey likes to make deals. I think he is waiting for a better deal for Omer.

  16. Ryan says:

    LOL OSIK for JJ and RL?!?!?!!? Heat Fans are so greedy.. those guys don’t even play. Much rather have RA who can shoot and get rebounds.

  17. lol says:

    THe rockets would be stupid to let Asik go, having a deep strong frontcourt makes all the difference, Asik is very valuable to Houston they better keep him, it would be dumb to let him go for a any shooter, unless its a star shooter of course who has all around game,but they already got Harden and Parsons and that wont happen, there are only one dimansional shooters availiable in the market who cant replace Asik value and presence.

  18. UFO says:

    trade Osik for Ryan Anderson from Pellicans? seems win-win for me.

  19. haha says:

    if sharpshooting is what they need…

    asik for james Jones and rashard lewis..

    asik for two sharp shooter not bad at all..

  20. Jim says:

    Portland turning into a contender with Asik wut?!