Omer Asik

Omer Asik could return to Rockets in a week… just in time for the trade deadline


I’m sure this is all just a coincidence.

The fact that the Rockets were playing Omer Asik back when GM Daryl Morey set up a false trade deadline to try and generate offers, and then when that didn’t work he had a somewhat mysterious knee injury. Now that the league-mandated “real” trade deadline is approaching, look who is nearly healthy and ready to return — it’s our old friend Mr. Asik.

What a happy coincidence that is.

Asik went through shootaround with the Rockets on Wednesday and is working out with the team again. It appears he will be cleared to play in the next week or so, just prior to the Feb. 20 trade deadline, reports Adam Wexler of

Rockets center Omer Asik took part in Wednesday’s shoot-around, but very little heavy basketball work is done by any of the players during the glorified walk-throughs….

“He looked fine to me, he’s moving around, he’s going through 5-on-0, no contact,” Chandler Parsons said on Wednesday. “He seems to be getting better. He can be one of the better centers in this league. To have that luxury of having him and Dwight, his size and length and everything that he can bring to this team can benefit us a lot.”

The hope is still for Asik to get some playing time before the NBA breaks for the All-Star game.

The Rockets would love to move Asik at the deadline but the fact he is owed $15 million next season (but only $8.7 against the cap) has shrunk the market for his services. Daryl Morey hasn’t been able to get an offer he has liked, and if he doesn’t at the trade deadline he will wait to try again this summer.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $120,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Wednesday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $13,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Wednesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.

In theory Asik could provide a boost to the Rockets, being the first big off the bench and spelling Dwight Howard. However, Asik really wants to start somewhere and seemed to earn that status with his play last season. We’ll have to see how this plays out, and what coincidences lie ahead.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.