The Omer Asik and Dwight Howard experiment has not worked out — the Rockets were -18.1 points per 48 minutes when they were paired together (via NBA.com stats). Kevin McHale held out hope longer than most, but Wednesday threw in the towel and moved Asik out of the starting lineup and on to the bench (he played just 4:22 and not at all in the second half).
Now, Asik wants out — he has asked for a trade, reports Jonathan Feigen at the Houston Chronicle.
With his starting job gone and his playing time slashed, Rockets center Omer Asik has asked to be traded, two individuals with knowledge of the request said Thursday…
The Rockets have no trade involving Asik in the works, with one individual saying a deal is more likely in months than in days.
Asik reportedly was unhappy this summer when the Rockets chased Howard after Asik had a strong season averaging 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds a game, plus being the defensive anchor of a team that made the playoffs. There were trade rumors then, however he was talked into trying to make it work.
“I would say the situation is very frustrating right now and we’re trying to work through it,,” (Asik’s agent Andy) Miller said. “For Omer, the objective has always been to continue to develop and grow as a player. That’s why we came to Houston in the first place. If that objective can’t be met, if we can’t get the right platform to grow and contribute as a player, it’s certainly frustrating.”
Asik makes a very reasonable $8.4 million this season and next.
The Rockets trading Asik was always a strong possibility this season, but Houston GM Daryl Morey is only going to do it when he gets value in return. That’s why this likely doesn’t happen soon — the offers Morey hears in the next weeks will be lowball ones. Morey is in no rush.
But there are teams that need a strong defensive center with a good all around game and eventually a fair offer will come in. Just expect it closer to the trade deadline in February.