NBA Trade Rumors: Houston Rockets Must Trade Omer Asik to Avoid Nightmare

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIMarch 10, 2017

Apr 27, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) and center Omer Asik (3) react to a call during the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder during game three in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

According to Brian Windhorst of, Houston Rockets center Omer Asik has requested a trade in the wake of the team signing Dwight Howard.

Shockingly, the Houston Rockets have reportedly declined that wish, as sources say they are uninterested in trading their rebounding specialist.

As valuable a player as Asik may be, the Rockets must trade him to avoid a nightmare in 2013-14.

Asik is a productive player coming off of a season in which he averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks on 54.1 percent shooting from the field. In his first season of getting more than 15.0 minutes per game, he started all 82 games for Houston and ranked third in the NBA in rebounding average and seventh in offensive boards.

With that being said, there truly is no comparison between him and Howard.

D-12 is a seven-time All-Star, a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and a five-time NBA rebounding leader. That includes 2012-13, when Howard topped Asik and  further displayed his superiority in virtually every phase of the game.

With that being said, Asik deserves to be a starter in the NBA and continue his rapid progression—an opportunity the Rockets cannot afford him.


Duo Doesn't Work

Howard is the NBA's elite center, but on offense, he's a pick-and-roll finisher with an average low-post game and a nonexistent attack outside of 10 feet. Omer Asik is one of the league's supreme effort players, but he finishes at the rim and lacks any form of a back-to-the-basket or face-up game.

Someone explain to me how they'd be able to coexist offensively.

Neither player is a capable jump shooter, which suggests that both will need to be placed on the low block to contribute. Both will crash the offensive glass and pick up points with effort plays, but without the development of 10-to-15-foot-jumpers, they create a one-dimensional frontcourt.

You can crunch any numbers you want—this duo simply will not work.

Should the Rockets opt to move forward with a rotation consisting of both men, Asik would either play out of position at power forward or come off of the bench. With Asik coming off of a breakout season, the latter option simply isn't a realistic choice.

The only option is to trade Asik and find a player that can actually step in as the stretch 4 Howard has been successful playing alongside.


Asik Has Trade Value

Asik may not be a household name, but for countless NBA general managers, he's a player who could easily crack their starting lineup. He's one of the game's elite rebounding presences, dominating the defensive glass and creating second-chance scoring opportunities offensively.

Reports have already begun flowing in about potential suitors.

Sometimes, you have to sacrifice a player you'd love to keep for one that you need.

With or without  Howard, the Rockets are a team that lives by its ability to score the basketball. While Asik may be a valuable player who doesn't need a play run for him to contribute, there are superior offensive options available.

More specifically, there are players who better fit with D-12—the only thing that matters at this stage.

The D-12 Effect

Over the past two seasons, it's become quite clear that Howard will walk away from unfavorable situations.

From the Orlando Magic's unwillingness to provide him with support to the Los Angeles Lakers' colossal failures, Howard refused to stick around when the road to glory became bumpy.

So why would the Rockets even dream of starting D-12's tenure in Houston with locker-room tension?

Windhorst's previously alluded-to report states that Asik didn't want the Rockets to acquire Howard. While D-12 may be the NBA's premier center, Asik believes he deserves a starting role and refuses to back up the All-Star.

That's quite the awkward situation for Howard to enter, if Asik is still around come training camp.

Houston has the opportunity for something special with Howard in town, but after watching the Lakers come up short in 2012-13, we know that nothing is guaranteed. Without the proper development of chemistry, the Rockets will be yet another example of a team being better on paper than it is on the floor.

Trading Asik seems like the only way to start Howard's transition to Houston in a smooth manner.