Not everyone with the Rockets is pleased Dwight Howard has agreed to sign with Houston.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
How does Los Angeles sound, Omer?
Because the Rockets don’t have the cap space to sign Howard, they must make other moves before officially signing him (unless he’s willing to take less money). That could mean using Asik in a sign-and-trade with the Lakers.
That’s not the only option, though.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:
The Rockets had reportedly been looking to add Smith and Howard, and that would give them a ton of athleticism at the power positions. Their defensive potential would be through the roof.
The Hawks would also get something for Smith, who could leave as a free agent. That trade would finally make Al Horford their main power forward, a position man think suits him better than center.
No longer saving its cap space for Howard or Chris Paul, the Mavericks suddenly need to add quality players and have less-than-great resources to do so. Asik would at least be safer than Andrew Bynum as Dallas’ center.
Regardless of where Asik goes, a trade seems inevitable.
Howard and Asik are both excellent at what they do, but both can take full responsibility for the area near the rim defensively and much of the responsibility offensively. There are diminishing returns for having both on the court at the same time, the expense being another player who fits better with Howard.
Asik had a breakout season, averaging 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, after signing with the Rockets. He had looked good as a Bulls backup, but proving he can handle a starting role means a lot, and he shouldn’t relinquish it.
Everyone involved – the Rockets, Asik and the team that gets him – will all likely be better off if he’s traded.
One last note: Asik’s cap number is $8,374,646 each of the next two seasons. However, his team must pay him $5,225,000 and $14,898,938, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com. That makes Asik slightly more appealing next season and very unappealing the following season. It will be interesting to see how potential trade partners evaluate that rare contract.