5 Good Things Omer Asik Can Bring to the Houston Rockets
Daryl Morey. Some call him an evil genius, some a mastermind.
One thing's for sure, he's one of the brightest front office minds in the NBA today.
It looks likely that his Rockets will lose Marcus Camby, a veteran, defensive-minded center who is chasing dreams of winning his first championship.
So what does Morey do?
He goes out and puts an ingenious—if not insane money-wise—offer on Omer Asik, a defense-first center that can immediately come into Houston and contribute.
Morey's offer was intelligent because he found a loophole in the new CBA that means the Rockets can spread the nearly $24 million out evenly over three years. If the Bulls were to match the offer, they would have to pay Asik $14 million of the deal in the third year, exactly when the luxury tax penalties increase for the first time.
In essence, Morey stole Asik from Chicago, just as Grantland writer Robert Mays explains lucidly here, and it was a solid move because the Rockets had to try and replace Camby.
Here's a look at what Asik will bring to Houston, as long as Chicago does indeed not match Morey's offer.
Asik is amazing on the defensive end, and most of his deficiencies are on offense.
He's a terrible shooter and very bad at hitting free throws, but he did average 3.1 points per game last year.
Put-backs and finishing at the rim, which Taj Gibson raves he does at times.
Asik gets a chance at those put-backs due to his decent offensive-rebounding game.
As a true 7-footer, Asik possesses the size needed to grab boards over power forwards and shorter centers, snagging 1.9 per game.
Yes, his offensive game is lacking, but it can't be missed how important offensive rebounds and second chances are to a team's O.
On to Asik's strength, the defensive side of the court.
The center has quick feet for his size, and quick hands too, using them to poke away .5 steals per his 14.7 minutes of game time.
He's a relentless worker, and it shows.
Rebounding is Asik's second-best skill on the hardwood, and his numbers show why.
The second-year Turkish big man grabbed 3.4 defensive rebounds per last year, which may not seem like a gaudy number, but when averaged out to 36 minutes, it would mean 8.3 per.
Asik is a big boy, using his size to out-muscle and position himself inside opponents for loose balls.
Being able to secure the ball for his team and end the other team's scoring opportunity will come in huge in Houston.
What makes Asik worth the money to Morey and the Rockets is his ability to block shots at a high level.
Last season, the defensive center blocked 1.0 shots per, increasing to 1.7 per in the postseason.
He's already got the height, and Asik is smart enough to know he can just stand strong with a hand straight up to alter opponent's shots. He doesn't get caught up in the air falling for ball fakes and is a disciplined defender overall.
Overall a Good, Not Great, Player
Overall, Omer Asik has proven he's a good player, blessed with great height and size, that continues to develop.
In the playoffs, he started three games and his minutes per game increased to 21.3 per, which saw his scoring and block numbers swell slightly to 3.3 points and 1.7 blocks per game.
For Houston, landing a big center that is dedicated to playing all-out on the defensive end was a priority, and it looks like they've done just that.
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