The Rockets Daily – December 10, 2013

All That Power – Houston climbed to 5th in Marc Stein’s ESPN Power Rankings, one spot higher than (gasp) San Antonio. The committee of one writes:

The sense I get, as noted in this Stein Line Live post, is that neither Houston nor Portland is very interested in exploring an Omer Asik trade at the moment. But the Rockets visit the Blazers on Thursday … so brace yourself for a fresh round of Asik-for-Robin Lopez speculation regardless.

At the time of this writing, Houston is 5th in the Hollinger Rankings as well, so the consistency gods are smiling on ESPN. But wait! Here comes NBA.com and John Schuhmann to take our beautiful power ranking uniformity and blow it all to hell. He ranks Houston 6th:

Pace: 99.0 (4), OffRtg: 107.8 (3), DefRtg: 100.0 (8), NetRtg: +7.8 (4)
James Harden was a victim of some brutal blow-bys earlier in the week (see here and here, for example), but has since vowed to actually try on defense. And the Rockets’ D was so good in wins against the Warriors and Magic over the weekend that it didn’t matter that their bench shot 2-for-21 from 3-point range. Of course, that kind of shooting might provide more motivation to get something for Omer Asik.

I’m really hoping for a power ranking hat-trick (the same ranking from Stein, Hollinger’s computer and Schuhmann) before the end of the year.

On The BlockKevin Pelton (ESPN Insider) ranks the top 11 trade candidates in the NBA. Not surprisingly, Omer Asik is one of them. He writes:

At this point, it’s a question of when and not if Asik will be dealt. Our Marc Stein reported Friday that the Rockets are in a hurry to make a trade by Dec. 19 so they can repackage players they acquire before the deadline. I broke down players Houston could get for Asik last month. Since then, Terrence Jones‘ solid play as a starter (his net rating of plus-11.0 points per 100 possessions on the floor is second to Omri Casspi on the team) has made it more reasonable that the Rockets might target a quality wing defender rather than a stretch 4. Ideally, the player Houston ultimately acquires would be able to fill both roles.

Interestingly, the only player who may fit that wing defender/stretch 4 mold among the 11 players Pelton mentions is Luol Deng, who I’m guessing the Bulls aren’t going to trade away just to get back their old backup center. Asik is mentioned as a potential target for the Hawks as they seek to get rid of Paul Millsap, but if Terrence Jones continues to play they way he has been, you have to wonder how much the Rockets will be looking for a stretch 4 who doesn’t help with their defense on the wings.

JUSTICE!!!Via The Point Forward, Marresse Speights has been issued a warning by the league for flopping against Dwight Howard last week on this play:

‘Bout time. About ten more of these warnings and we can get back to watching Dwight Howard playing basketball instead of trying desperately to make sure his massive shoulders don’t touch another human.

Contributor Needed - I’m still taking applications for someone to replace me as news editor, which mostly involves writing the Daily. I’ll be writing less starting around Christmas. Email me at jeby901@gmail.com if you’re interested.

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Total comments: 11
  • thejohnnygold says 9 months ago

    Ha, oops. How did I forget that? :unsure:

  • Buckko says 9 months ago JG, harden is younger than parsons.
  • Cooper says 9 months ago Monroe would be a great pick up, Detroit screwed him when they signed smith. He's an all star caliber big. Not a great fit with Dwight but he can pass well and shoot a solid percentage from mid range plus he has good hands and a growing post game of his own so whoever was guarding him couldn't leave to double Dwight as much as we saw with asik.
  • thejohnnygold says 9 months ago

    So many Asik trades. Redfaithful's post above makes a point that many don't seem to fully grasp. We have starters at every position. This makes getting value for Asik tricky. We can't bring in equal talent without shipping out a starter because that's what he's worth. If we do, we likely wind up with another disgruntled player. If we start the new player who gets benched? Parsons? Jones? Do we really want to trade Parsons or Jones? I think that would be a mistake.

    What we are seeing is the negative aspect of Morey's game plan. He acquired too much talent and there is not enough court time for all of it. We have 7 starting caliber players on our roster (Lin, Bev, Harden, Parsons, Jones, Asik, and Howard). Unlike Lin, Omer is not interested in being a key member of the second unit (allegedly). Thus, the problem is too many starters; yet, most trade scenarios involve bringing in more starters.

    I get that Asik has value, but we cannot shoot ourselves in the foot here. Getting max value is the wrong way to look at this trade. We need to shift our thoughts to making the smart move. Greed will get us in trouble here. On paper, whatever deal winds up getting done may appear to be a bad one for us. That doesn't matter. We've got a shot at a San Antonio-like run here. As Harden and Howard trend down Parsons and Jones will be peaking. Trading Asik for a nice role player and a pick or two will be just fine because it's the smart move. Personally, I still think keeping him is the best move, but that's not what appears to be happening.

  • Steven says 9 months ago

    Hmmm, interesting.

    However, can either Monroe or Villanueva shoot effectively from outside to stretch the defense away from D12?

    Don't know. Mine trade is more along the lines of get the best talent now, then flip them at the deadline. Monroe and Drummond don't mesh well in Detriot, so Young would be a better fit for them. Monroe is in the last year of his rookie deal, so he is going to be a RFA. Come February, people will know if they are in the playoff races better then now, so they might be willing to offer more then, then they are now.
  • redfaithful says 9 months ago

    Jones is the stretch 4 who plays with Howard. Whoever comes as Asik's replacement in any deal will probably play most minutes when Howard is on the bench, so defense and close to the basket offense are the main requirements.

  • rocketrick says 9 months ago

    Rockets get Greg Monroe and Charlie Villineva
    76s get Omer Asik
    Pistons get Thaddius Young and Greg Smith.

    Villineva is money to make the trade work. $8.6M in expiring contract someone might want at the deadline.

    Hmmm, interesting.

    However, can either Monroe or Villanueva shoot effectively from outside to stretch the defense away from D12?

  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago

    banned.jpg

    Just kidding, Kyle Korver would actually be a great fit. Hawks just need to throw in a 2nd round pick or a lottery protected 1st.

    Actually, Hawks probably need to throw in more than that. Asik's value is higher than most people think, and we all know how good Morey is as his job so I expect nothing less than full value in return. Kyle Korver is definitely underrated though, he's a bit of a one-trick-pony but the one trick he does just happens to be a very valuable one.

    To get an idea of how efficient Kyle Korver's 52% from from 3 really is, you would have to shoot 78% on 2's to be equally as efficient.

  • Steven says 9 months ago Rockets get Greg Monroe and Charlie Villineva
    76s get Omer Asik
    Pistons get Thaddius Young and Greg Smith.

    Villineva is money to make the trade work. $8.6M in expiring contract someone might want at the deadline.
  • 2016Champions says 9 months ago

    Wishful thinking - Asik to Atlanta for Korver

    Dunno if salaries match up. Maybe a 2nd rounder thrown in either way

    banned.jpg

    Just kidding, Kyle Korver would actually be a great fit. Hawks just need to throw in a 2nd round pick or a lottery protected 1st.

  • Opasido says 9 months ago

    Wishful thinking - Asik to Atlanta for Korver

    Dunno if salaries match up. Maybe a 2nd rounder thrown in either way