Well, this is fun. The Rockets have an elite center that’s driving the bus to their championship hopes and his name isn’t Omer Asik — therefore, Houston has set a deadline for this Thursday to trade the center by.
Zach Lowe of Grantland.com is reporting that the Bobcats were involved with the Rockets on discussions surrounding Asik. Rockets GM Daryl Morey reportedly asked Charlotte for two first round picks. Uh, if you ask me, no.
It’s clear that all of the advanced analytics suggest that Asik is an elite rim protector and could quite possibly be one of the best when given starter minutes, but it’s unknown how much the guy can give you offensively and therefore it’s hard to justify that he’ll ever be worth $15 million per year – what he’ll be owed starting in 2014-15 when his poisoned pilled contract takes full effect. Asik is only getting paid $8.3 this season, so there’s your bargain, but it’s soon to come crashing down around whatever team takes a chance on Asik.
There’s another head-scratcher as to why Charlotte is involved in discussions with Houston about the center – where in the world would he fit into this lineup? Whatever team acquires Asik will certainly peg him as their starting center, but I don’t see how that’d work with the Bobcats. Al Jefferson is the clear cut starting center in Charlotte when healthy and he’s being paid roughly $13.5 million per season, over three seasons. Add Asik to that payroll knowing that you can’t play the two on the floor together at the same time would be questionable, to say the least. This roster is constructed with Al Jefferson and then a gaggle of guys that can attack the rim – not space the floor. With Jefferson and Asik on the floor together, you’d obviously have to elite floor spacing to justify the thought offensively.
Unless, of course, all this is centered around the Bobcats trying to find a new home for Jefferson. With how much the team spent on Big Al over the summer, that idea is highly unlikely to manifest itself.
One thing seems to be certain here, at least according to Houston — they’re trading Asik by Thursday and the team willing to give up the most will be awarded him. My suggestion to Charlotte – stand pat and play this one conservatively. Morey smells blood in Jordan and Cho would be wise to sell out full blown protection mode over this one.