The reports surrounding the status of Rockets big man Omer Asik will continue their steady stream until the inevitable trade happens.
Houston wanted to make it work with Asik playing alongside Dwight Howard, but that experiment failed and with Asik being disgruntled in his situation and constantly requesting to be traded, the Rockets seem determined to get a deal done in the not-too-distant future.
Talks are ongoing with multiple teams, but it appears that one may have jumped to the front of the line given the pieces involved that would make sense for both sides.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
Keep your eye on Philadelphia. Front-runner would be overstating it, but the notion that the Sixers are a viable destination for Asik is increasingly making the rounds. And that certainly makes sense given (A) Philly’s front office is run by a certified Asik fan, former Rockets exec Sam Hinkie; (B) Philly has a frontcourt player to send back to Houston, in Thaddeus Young) whose skill set can click with Dwight Howard’s, albeit not as well as seemingly unattainable dream target Ryan Anderson; and (C) there really isn’t an Asik for Philly to draft with the high pick it’s likely to snag in the 2014 lottery.
Thad Young is one of the three players on Philadelphia’s roster, along with Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, who have more value around the league than they do on this rebuilding Sixers squad.
This particular trade would appear to be a win-win — Houston gets a complementary big to play alongside Howard, and Philadelphia gets a solid defensive center to build around for the future.
Nothing is likely to happen before Dec. 15, when players who signed free agent deals this past summer become eligible to be traded. But even after that date passes, it would be tough to see the Rockets getting an offer that better suited their needs.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.
Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.
They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.
Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.