Huq’s Pen: The calm before the storm on the Asik front

Unlike yesterday when Jeff Green’s name started really making the rounds, there isn’t really anything new to report that hasn’t been mentioned.  That’s why I’ve decided to compose a random stream of consciousness of my thoughts at this hour to fill the time.  If you’re looking for updates, you won’t find any on this particular page.

  • I’ve mentioned this a few times, but is there any player in the league regarding whom there is greater variance between actual ability and fan perception than Omer Asik?  You gotta see some of the stuff that’s come up on my timeline: opposing fans think this guy is a complete scrub with bad hair.  After I tweeted about the Aldridge report hinting at a Cavs swap involving Varejao, someone from the Cavs end actually said they’d only do it if Parsons were included too and even then, “maybe.”  Uhhh, what.

  • To the point above, because he doesn’t put up big numbers and looks like one of the least coordinated human beings alive on the offensive end, people think this guy is a complete scrub and like Zan Tabak at best.  In actuality, we are talking about a guy who single-handedly anchored one of the worst defensive units in basketball into respectability during the time of his presence.  I don’t think it’s grasped how big a deal that is.  
  • And to the point above, it’s an odd situation with Philly because Asik would instantly make them better, thereby hurting them in the long run.
  • BTW, how can his hair look so good when he’s inactive, sitting on the bench yet appear like such a trainwreck when out on the court?  Kind of odd that he doesn’t take the time to groom it before games whereas guys like Parsons and Motiejunas still go through the energy to sculp their locks into those cone shaped forms.
  • Am I the only one out there that cringes every time Spencer Hawes’ name comes up as the main piece in an Asik deal?  Look, I like Spencer Hawes, Spencer Hawes is a nice player who can shoot the ‘3’, and Spencer Hawes would fill a need at backup.  But the thought of trading a backup center for a crappier backup center literally makes me sick.
  • I think I wrote about this earlier in the week (but who really can even remember as far back as this morning?) but my favorite fake trade rumors/suggestions surround the ones that came out of Dallas where the Rockets would take back Samuel Dalembert and Vince Carter for Omer….because, you know, we need a backup center since we have to trade our backup center and I guess Vince Carter uhhh fills a need too.  Right.  While we’re at it, lets think of trades from the other 20-something teams where they trade us their backup center and whatever bag of crap they can compile.  That would make a ton of sense.
  • All the reports out there are so underwhelming that I’m actually praying they somehow pull out a surprise and trade for Rondo even though I know that would be a complete disaster and that Rajon Rondo is possibly the worst fit in the entire league for a guard playing next to James Harden.  But if you’re telling me to choose between Rondo and like…Spencer Hawes, bring on Rondo!  Can you tell I’m in a bitter mood?  You should be too.  We’re hours away from losing an elite rim protector for 50 cents on the dollar.  This whole situation makes me sick.
  • Though, of course, trust in Morey, because he almost always extracts the fullest out of these sorts of auctions.  I thought it would take the Rockets a future first to get anyone to take Thomas Robinson or Royce White off their hands and that didn’t happen in either case.  With the McGrady auction back what seems like thirty years ago, the reports heading up to the deadline involved extremely underwhelming packages like Tyrus Thomas.  In actuality, recall that Morey ended up extracting what appeared to be a king’s ransom at the time, getting back former lottery pick Jordan Hill and two likely future lottery picks from the Knicks.  Now, obviously, Jordan Hill turned out to suck and those picks weren’t as high as we thought they’d be, but at the time, it was damn good value.
  • Seriously, this is depressing.
  • Can you believe that back in, I think it was like 1998, the Rockets got back two pretty damn good first round picks (which turned out to be the infamous Bryce Drew and Mirsad Turkcan) in return for a 53-year-old Kevin Willis?  And now we are basically hoping to get back even one future pick for the 27-year-old Asik?  Those were kinder days.
  • I’d be happy with Jeff Green.  Really happy.  I don’t think I even care about future flexibility right now.  Give me Jeff Green.
  • The scenario that gives me hope is the Bobcats with their willingness, reportedly, to trade picks for another run with mediocrity.
  • I think it’s going to be something like Spencer Hawes and two picks in a three-way.  Well, I don’t know.  But Morey will surprise us.
  • Back in ’09, I don’t think anyone saw Carl Landry included in the maneuvering when he was ultimately dealt for Kevin Martin prior to the Knicks’ involvement.  What would be the equivalent of that, right now, in terms of shock value?  Not Jeremy Lin because that’s been rumored.  Maybe Chandler?  Maybe a multi-team deal where they trade Chandler and Omer and get back Jeff Green, Hawes, and picks and then flip the picks.  But that couldn’t work as CavsFan will tell you, Chandler+Omer might not even be enough to get you Anderson Varejao…
  • I’m going to miss Omer.  I remember my first conversation with the guy.  It also happened to be my only conversation with the guy.  It consisted of him smiling awkwardly appearing to regret even coming into the lockerroom with me smiling awkwardly regretting I had even approached him.
  • My favorite Omer play is where he spins baseline and then airballs the layup at the other side of the basket.  Or remember when he’d lay it up gently when the situation would warrant a dunk from any other marginally coordinated human being….and then later in the year, last year, it became obvious they started stressing to him to dunk the ball in those situations so he’d slam it down with authority but even the dunk looked hideous…?  God, I will miss that.  My favorite play of the season came from the short lived Twin Towers era where, at least once each game, Omer would catch a pass near the rim and expectedly airball the layup, but then Dwight would grab the rebound and miss the putback as well.  Like clockwork, you could expect this to happen at least once every game.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of

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