The latest on the Omer Asik front

Marc Stein reported today that the Houston Rockets have been telling other teams that they intend to trade center Omer Asik by December 19.  The significance of that date is that 1) December 15 is the first day that players signed to new deals last offseason can be plugged into trades and 2) December 19 is the last day that any player acquired in a trade can be traded again before this season’s February trade deadline.

I have several thoughts.  First, ever since it became clear that Asik would need to be dealt, I’ve been saying that a deal would need to be made this season because of the way Asik’s contract is structured.  Without rehashing the details, Asik on a one year rental is a very expensive proposition (in real dollars, not cap dollars.)  That being said, my current prediction, especially after this news, is that Asik won’t be dealt at all.  This leak smacks of clear posturing by the Rockets in an effort to drive up bids.  As we’ve come to learn, Daryl Morey doesn’t work on artificial timelines and he almost never settles for less than what he perceives to be full value.  We’ve seen him hold onto players like Luis Scola and Kevin Martin until they had no value whatsoever (or in the case of Martin, only as an expiring contract.)  I don’t know if he’s suddenly going to change his modus operandi with Asik; he’s not one to show desperation.

On the other hand, Houston is in the unfamiliar territory of actually being in the midst of a season that matters.  In the past, it was just about securing the best value for the future of the franchise.  Now, while that value is a consideration, one can reasonably believe Morey would like to fill some current holes in the process as his team makes a postseason push.

Lastly of note is the odd issue of Asik’s value which, while already lower than it should be to begin with, probably has diminished even further since the start of this season.  This is for no other reason than the verified and irrefutable fact that the vast majority of NBA general managers are complete idiots.  Just as players somehow need to be “showcased” for trades, that a player whose playing time has diminished this season due to external circumstances (and not due to any inabilities of the player himself) would cause the collective groupthink to view that player in lesser esteem is….bizarre.  It’s almost like, “hey, that Asik fella sure was good last year but he doesn’t seem to be showing up on my DVR for these Rockets games any more.  What happened to him?  His leg must have fallen off or something.”  It sounds absurd, but seriously, I really think the above is an accurate reflection of the thought process that goes on.

As for what happens, we’ll see.  I’m becoming less confident that a deal will be struck and I’m wary of just giving up a player that good for pennies on the dollar.  Though, as a reader said recently, whatever Morey decides to do, it won’t make sense until it makes sense.

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Total comments: 14
  • feelingsupersonic says 9 months ago I echo some of what you are saying johnnygold. Let's all be clear, myself included, when we present opinions. Many forum members with good reputations and intelligent opinions would quickly disagree that there is a "McHale issue" rm. In my opinion even if it was a problem there are about 40 to 50 more pressing issues than any coach related issue for the organization let's be realistic, we are not a Lin-centric forum that has a problem with McHale for the most part. Then there is also the Asik Howard lineup that you rm flat out said didn't work when in fact (don't have the numbers in front of me) the rebounding and paint defense were elite but was over looked because multiple rotation players shot less than 30% from distance.

    But going back to the topic, I strongly disagree that Asik's trade value is lower right now. Asik is still a top ten center who is durable, desperate to start, hard working, a good teammate, just entering his prime and has playoff experience, not many 7 footers you can say all that about.
  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago

    I just don't understand why people are so cynical of Asik's value. He is in my eyes the second best defender at his position, and if not that he's at least top 5. How many players in this league can make the Rockets the best half court offense in the league while he's on the floor? Rockets were the worst defensive team in the league by far when Asik was on the bench. How many players can make that kind of swing and not be worth what Morey is asking? If anything, Morey's asking price is a steal.

  • Steven says 9 months ago Three team trade. Asik and to Pelicans Greg Smith to Dertiot, Pelicans send Eric Gorden to Detriot, Pistons send Greg Monroe and Caldwell-Pope Houston. Houston picks up a First-Rounder from Detriot as well.
  • thejohnnygold says 9 months ago

    Asik's value is at a low point right now, though a few teams might be starting to get desperate for a big. What's different for Houston this year is that they actually have the potential to make a deep playoff run, so there is a 'win now' argument to consider, which Les Alexander may be more focused on than is Morey. Few teams have made deep playoff runs with roster chemistry issues and the Asik situation is a classic 'bad fit' that would need to be remedied in order for the team to gel properly. There is also the issue of Kevin McHale. He hasn't been able to get Asik to buy-in or find creative ways to make the Howard-Asik duo work. He also has a tendency to be fickle with his roster and rotations, which has upset other players in the past. If you take the 'win now' approach, maybe the thing to do is give McHale fewer tools to play with so that the team has a consistent rotation and pecking order which would lead to better chemistry. Maybe what Morey is doing is trying to get the best deal he can knowing that he has a bad hand to play with right now. By forcing the issue, he makes teams that need bigs pull the trigger on trades that they otherwise wouldn't make.

    Statements like the one I highlighted above are just unacceptable in my opinion. Gossip is not fact, but it sure does wind up as such doesn't it? There is not one single credible, documented example of this to be found anywhere. It is speculation and postulation by sports fanatics (primarily LOF's--sorry to implicate the group as a whole--it's not all of them, but it sure is a lot of them). Yet here we sit, reading this post with this sentence declaring just as much as if it is fact. In reality, it has just been repeated so many times that people actually believe it.

    The sentence preceding that one....I just don't know what to say. I guess it's McHale's job to tell a grown man to put on his big boy pants and go do his job--so sad that this statement is true. Should it be a criticism of McHale though? Really...? Could you imagine that being your job...you show up to work and instead of doing the 5,000 other things you need to do you have to go and spend time convincing a grown man to play basketball for $8.3M. I get it, he feels betrayed. Maybe if he had spent some time learning some hand-eye coordination during his previous 25 years of life he wouldn't have this problem. I love Asik, but let's not coddle him.

    And then about Morey...If anyone thinks Morey isn't in a strong trade position (regardless of what Asik says or does) they just haven't been paying attention for some time now. It is a tactic for sure declaring the deadline of Dec. 19th, but it's not binding. He's shaking some trees to see if anything falls in his lap.

    Ugh, sorry for the grumpiness. I shouldn't post before coffee :angry: This Asik situation is overblown in every regard--both in how it affects our chemistry and in how important it is to get maximum value in any trade. Sometimes it's fine to just punt the ball, so to speak, and move on.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    See, that would depend on the level of bad contract doesn't it? a Steve Novak bad contract is alright since at least he can shoot, but if you trade say.. Asik and Lin for Amare that would obviously not be ok. no matter the pick coming back. (well the Knicks have nothing left in terms of picks anyway.)

    More over, you are assuming there is another deal out there down the road that'll end up better, which is a risky assumption, we are overflowing with picks at the moment, (we have no less than 6 extra 2nd round picks already on top of 8 guys statshed in Europe, that's right, we have an entire team worth of extra asset) at this point we're are already at a huge risk of letting most of these extra assets go to waste. so of course lets just double down and add to the pile?

    That is almost as faulty as an argument I saw on Clutchfan arguing that the best course would be to trade Asik and Lin for nothing to get a TPE (traded player exception) so we can use that for another trade later on, completely ignoring the small problem that most TPE end up being unused (such as the TPE Clevland got for Lebron and the one Orlando got for Dwight, those combine for over 30m!!! of TPE) and your trading 2 very functional players for the HOPE of a future deal that history suggest, may never end up materializing.

    The set date of 12/19 does imply they want to move / get guys that were also signed this past summer, aka Ronnie Brewer though.


    Holy Crap, I never said anything about trading both Lin and Asik. Why would the Rockets even consider trading Lin just to make a move quickly to trade Asik? Makes absolutely, positively no sense whatsoever.

    In my opinion, Lin is much too valuable to trade, he is having a stellar season so far and is very important to the success of the Rockets this season. In other forums weeks ago I suggested maybe moving Lin as part of a blockbuster trade for a LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love. Otherwise, the only other reason to trade Lin is to solely satisfy the Lin detractors on this board.

    I only suggested that Morey should be creative in getting more offers on the table for Asik. Especially with the artificial deadline recently set to trade Asik between December 15-19.

    I enjoy having sensible conversations with other forum members, but please don't put words in my mouth.
  • rm90025 says 9 months ago

    Asik's value is at a low point right now, though a few teams might be starting to get desperate for a big. What's different for Houston this year is that they actually have the potential to make a deep playoff run, so there is a 'win now' argument to consider, which Les Alexander may be more focused on than is Morey. Few teams have made deep playoff runs with roster chemistry issues and the Asik situation is a classic 'bad fit' that would need to be remedied in order for the team to gel properly. There is also the issue of Kevin McHale. He hasn't been able to get Asik to buy-in or find creative ways to make the Howard-Asik duo work. He also has a tendency to be fickle with his roster and rotations, which has upset other players in the past. If you take the 'win now' approach, maybe the thing to do is give McHale fewer tools to play with so that the team has a consistent rotation and pecking order which would lead to better chemistry. Maybe what Morey is doing is trying to get the best deal he can knowing that he has a bad hand to play with right now. By forcing the issue, he makes teams that need bigs pull the trigger on trades that they otherwise wouldn't make.

  • RollingWave says 9 months ago

    Could be just something as simple as the Rockets and Morey willing to take on someone's bad contract as long as that comes with a lottery pick, then they can possibly flip that bad contract in February for someone or something else. Maybe that "bad contract" can fit in and be productive off the bench. Something in line with a Casspi who I imagine just about every other team in the NBA had given up on after his stints in Sacramento and Cleveland.

    Probably just another route to more options. The more options on the table, the more to pick from, the better.

    I have no doubt Morey and the Rockets will make the right decision when the time comes.

    See, that would depend on the level of bad contract doesn't it? a Steve Novak bad contract is alright since at least he can shoot, but if you trade say.. Asik and Lin for Amare that would obviously not be ok. no matter the pick coming back. (well the Knicks have nothing left in terms of picks anyway.)

    More over, you are assuming there is another deal out there down the road that'll end up better, which is a risky assumption, we are overflowing with picks at the moment, (we have no less than 6 extra 2nd round picks already on top of 8 guys statshed in Europe, that's right, we have an entire team worth of extra asset) at this point we're are already at a huge risk of letting most of these extra assets go to waste. so of course lets just double down and add to the pile?

    That is almost as faulty as an argument I saw on Clutchfan arguing that the best course would be to trade Asik and Lin for nothing to get a TPE (traded player exception) so we can use that for another trade later on, completely ignoring the small problem that most TPE end up being unused (such as the TPE Clevland got for Lebron and the one Orlando got for Dwight, those combine for over 30m!!! of TPE) and your trading 2 very functional players for the HOPE of a future deal that history suggest, may never end up materializing.

    The set date of 12/19 does imply they want to move / get guys that were also signed this past summer, aka Ronnie Brewer though.

  • rockets best fan says 9 months ago

    I agree Rahat.........I don't think Morey has limited his self to a certain timeline. he will move when he feels A deal he wants is on the table. one thing I have learn about Morey in watching him is he will not allow pressure to force him into bad deals. on the subject of Asik's trading window I would like to point out. there is the possibility the Rockets hold on to Asik until the end of the year and it may not hurt his trade value all that much. once the year ends we all know Asik will make 15 mil next year, but the Rockets will also have a new 3 mil allowance to use in trade for the new year. they could trade Asik and 3 mil in effect reducing his salary to 12 mil which would be more in line with his value. I think Asiik will be traded, but in our timeline not his or the media's

  • bboley24 says 9 months ago

    I totally just got quoted by Rahat. Nice.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    That seem to be not ideal though.

    A. it doesn't help this year, which means we're putting ourself in a hole in terms of this season.

    B. teams are unlikely to trade us this year's picks anyway. and if they do it's going to be one that's really late

    C. with the hype around this draft, my guess is that it could only go down, with the way the hype is it's like literally the 2 best draft in the past combined good, reality wise the odds of that happening is close to zero. historically if you even have 2 game changing talent in a draft it's a huge win, most likely you have 1 every 3-4 years.

    As Jason Friedman noted in his last hangout chat, in this sort of situation, the Rockets have much more trade scenario lined up than people realized, I suspect they have no less than 20 lined up for Asik, and we're only hearing about the once they want us to hear (aka the one they aren't actually going for.)


    Could be just something as simple as the Rockets and Morey willing to take on someone's bad contract as long as that comes with a lottery pick, then they can possibly flip that bad contract in February for someone or something else. Maybe that "bad contract" can fit in and be productive off the bench. Something in line with a Casspi who I imagine just about every other team in the NBA had given up on after his stints in Sacramento and Cleveland.

    Probably just another route to more options. The more options on the table, the more to pick from, the better.

    I have no doubt Morey and the Rockets will make the right decision when the time comes.
  • RollingWave says 9 months ago

    Sources say Morey is still asking for a lottery pick. My guess is that he wants that pick as a trade chip that he can use at the deadline. It's a lot easier to flip a lottery pick in a great draft than flip Asik.

    That seem to be not ideal though.

    A. it doesn't help this year, which means we're putting ourself in a hole in terms of this season.

    B. teams are unlikely to trade us this year's picks anyway. and if they do it's going to be one that's really late

    C. with the hype around this draft, my guess is that it could only go down, with the way the hype is it's like literally the 2 best draft in the past combined good, reality wise the odds of that happening is close to zero. historically if you even have 2 game changing talent in a draft it's a huge win, most likely you have 1 every 3-4 years.

    As Jason Friedman noted in his last hangout chat, in this sort of situation, the Rockets have much more trade scenario lined up than people realized, I suspect they have no less than 20 lined up for Asik, and we're only hearing about the once they want us to hear (aka the one they aren't actually going for.)

  • Buckko says 9 months ago Depending on the pick, I might just keep it for reloading for later but I don't believe he gets traded this season. Talk is just talk.
  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago

    Sources say Morey is still asking for a lottery pick. My guess is that he wants that pick as a trade chip that he can use at the deadline. It's a lot easier to flip a lottery pick in a great draft than flip Asik.

  • tombrokeoff says 9 months ago

    im going to do what i typically do with situations like this concerning the Rockets. just gonna sit back and wait for it to happen (or not) and then dissect it at that point. im sure morey will end up doing something most of us dont see coming anyway. whether it involves asik or not. these recent rumblings are definitely interesting, though.