Omer Asik, Ed Davis

Report: Omer Asik asks Rockets to trade him


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 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.

It didn’t.

“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.

Byron Scott doesn’t care about exhausting Lakers in preseason

Byron Scott
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The Warriors use wearable technology to track players and have rested them when the data revealed fatigue. Gregg Popovich is holding relatively healthy Spurs out of practice. Heck, Popovich doesn’t even send himself to every preseason games.

Meanwhile, with the Lakers…

Lakers coach Byron Scott, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

“I don’t necessarily care about tired legs in preseason,” Scott said. “I think everything that we’ve done thus far will pay off at the end of the day. You’ve got some guys that might have tired legs and [are] a little worn out, but all the running as far as getting into that physical condition that we need to get into, I think in December and January, it will pay off.

“So I’m not necessarily worried about guys having tired legs in preseason. They’ll just have to kind of fight through that fatigue part of it. And I think mentally it gets them a little stronger anyway.”

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

The Lakers coach has a reputation for demanding a lot of running in the preseason. It’s important in his mind because the Lakers will be better conditioned than other teams down the road.

Players, predictably, aren’t as enthused about it.

Bresnahan quotes just two players, Brandon Bass and D'Angelo Russell, and neither expressed much resistance to Scott’s methods. But I trust Bresnahan to read the team’s pulse.

I also think Scott is right: Fighting through fatigue builds mental toughness. But it also makes players tired, and it’s not the only way to instill toughness. The Warriors are tough. The  Spurs are tough. They didn’t have to run their players into the ground to get that way.

Scott loves to project himself as old-school and anti-analytic. Thankfully for the Lakers, his actual methods aren’t as bad as he conveys. For example, he said the Lakers would take an absurdly low 10-15 3-pointers per game last season. In reality, they hoisted nearly 19 per game, 25th in the league. That might not have been enough for that roster, but at least it wasn’t leaps and bounds below the norm.

So, I’m not convinced Scott is pushing the Lakers as hard as he wants everyone to believe. But he’s  clearly giving them a bigger workload than many teams.

If the Lakers are playing relevant games late in the season, this could come back to bite them. On the bright side, they probably won’t have to worry about that problem.

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

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Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.