The Houston Rockets have never been shy when it comes to Omer Asik trade talks and it won’t be any different this summer. Asik still has one year remaining on his contract and the Rockets will likely be looking to ship him elsewhere this offseason.
The Atlanta Hawks are one team pursuing Asik’s services according to Sam Smith of Bulls.com. Smith was answering questions for a weekly mailbag when he dropped this nugget. (Click here for the full mailbag).
Houston is looking to unload Asik and Lin to make a run at Anthony. I don’t think you can move Lin and the $15 million backloaded he’s due next season. But you may be able to move Asik, whom I’ve already heard several teams, like Atlanta to move Al Horford to four, are pursuing. The Hawks could look pretty good with that front court.
Asik, like Jeremy Lin, is owed $15 million in cash next season though he would only count $8.3 million towards the team’s cap. The 27-year old was an important part of the Rockets bench for the regular season when he wasn’t injured. Asik stepped up in the playoffs, starting the final four games in the Rockets/Blazers series, and was the only Rockets player capable of defending LaMarcus Aldridge. Though Asik would help the Rockets defend elite players, he is a luxury for a Rockets team with other needs.If the Rockets come up short in the Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, or Rajon Rondo sweepstakes, it is possible they could turn to the Hawks for a simple 1-1 trade. The Rockets have a need at power forward and Paul Milsap would be a nice fit with the Rockets.
Milsap averaged close to 18 points and 8.5 rebounds per game with the Hawks last season and is owed just $9.5 million in the last year of his contract next season.
The Rockets would prefer to send Asik with Lin in a bigger deal acquiring a third star player to pair with James Harden and Dwight Howard. If they fail, Asik could be headed to another destination in a smaller deal.
Expect the rumor mill to continue to heat up over the next month as we get ready for the June 26th NBA Draft.