First, judging by some of your response tweets, I realized I was unclear on something.  When I say that “it was previously believed that Asik had to be traded this season,” I wasn’t referring to any media reports or the report that he would be dealt by the 19th.  I was referring to the thought process that myself and other close observers of this team held since this summer that if the Rockets planned on dealing Asik, it would need to be this year so that the receiving team could spread out its costs.  (This is because while Asik’s cap hit is roughly $8million, he, like Jeremy Lin, is actually owed $5million this year and $15million next year.  Thus, I believed that any team acquiring Asik this year could justify the $15million payment if getting his services for two years; if they were only getting one year at $15million, they would balk, I and a few others assumed.)  But Zach Lowe is reporting that several teams are balking altogether at the prospect of paying the balloon payment, even if acquiring Asik right now.  By my previous train of thought, that would eliminate the urgency to deal Asik.

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in essays

The Houston Rockets are the very embodiment of efficiency. The strategy is in place. General Manager Daryl Morey is the architect, and James Harden is his agent on the court. Nothing less than three pointers, points in the paint and free throws are acceptable for this team. The aversion to the long two pointer, the alleged least efficient shot in basketball, is so great that Dwight Howard stepped back to make sure to avoid one before he sunk his third three pointer of his career on a desperation heave. The effort and chemistry may be touch and go, but the game plan is there, and the name of the game is analytics.

The Sacramento Kings just traded for Rudy Gay. Gay is a talented player and they seem to have a plan to use him next to franchise centerpiece DeMarcus Cousins. Also, Rudy Gay is shooting under 40% on the season. Gay is a shooter with no remorse, a player willing to take a shot from anywhere on the floor, no matter how many hands are in his face. Adding Gay to a team that already features volatile big man Cousins makes this Kings team fascinating, confusing, and just maybe dangerous.

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in game coverage

The rumors are swirling at a frantic pace, with some of the most credible names in the industry serving up tasteful morsels.  As always, required reading from the great Zach Lowe on Omer Asik’s market value.  As for the others, I’m not going to bother including links because if you’re reading me, you’re likely die-hard enough to have already seen/heard the other rumors on your own.  But a quick rundown: Marc Stein started the whole thing off by reporting that the Rockets would deal Asik by the 19th; we had David Aldridge suggesting the possibility of Anderson Verejao on-air on TNT; Sam Amick has stated that the Pelicans and Bucks (Ryan Anderson, Ilyasova) have both purportedly pulled themselves out of the mix; and finally Amick again reporting rival executive collective belief that the Rockets already have a deal in place with the Sixers.  Other news involves the Suns’ reported willingness to deal draft picks and ESPN’s Alan Hahn dropping the bombshell that many around the league believe the Rockets will deal Jeremy Lin if they can find a taker.

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in columns

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