Here we are again, discussing another trade idea from Bill Simmons. This time it involves the Houston Rockets and their need for a little balance in the frontcourt.
Here's the trade, right from Simmons himself:
Since there wasn't much explanation offered in the preview, I'll endeavor to fill in some of the gaps.
Here's how it looks in ESPN's NBA Trade Machine.
Of all the deals Simmons has suggested during his series of team previews with Jalen Rose, this is one of the easiest for me to understand. The benefits for each side seem clear.
Why it Makes Sense for Boston
The Celtics have an abundance of power forwards and a dearth of centers. For evidence, look no further than the possibility of 6'9" forwards Kris Humphries and Jared Sullinger starting at the 5. Even 7-footer Kelly Olynyk has more of a stretch-4 game than that of a center.
Omer Asik would give them a legitimate rim-protector, who's committed on the defensive end and unafraid of a good rebounding battle.
Asik's size and physical style would be the perfect frontcourt complement for Olynyk. That duo would make the Celtics a very difficult matchup—as the only team in the NBA with a power forward and center who both measure 7'0".
Losing Green would hurt, as he's possibly Boston's best offensive player as long as Rajon Rondo's out. But his departure would loosen the logjam at the 4 and would ultimately save the Celtics—who are rebuilding—a little money. His contract is a year longer than Asik's.
The only potential issue I see is somewhat ironic—this deal would make Boston better defensively, and possibly overall. And for a rebuilding team, better isn't necessarily, well, better.
The Celtics will want as many ping pong balls in the 2014 draft lottery as they can get. Wins don't help with that cause.
Why it Makes Sense for Houston
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Asik formally demanded a trade right after the Rockets signed Howard in July. Initially, the team insisted that the two could play together and that no trade was imminent.
But bloggers, writers and fans alike aren't convinced. Even though the Asik-trade rumblings have quieted, there are still plenty insisting that the experiment won't work and that Houston needs a stretch-4 to drag big men away from the rim and Howard. Simmons of course, is one of those.
And the power forward he's thrown out as a possibility for Houston makes a ton of sense to me—at least if he plays the way he did last season.
Green has the ball-handling skills of a small forward and would therefore become a problem for some of the heavier-footed 4s on the perimeter. And more importantly, the 38.5 percent he shot from three-point range would certainly qualify him as an option to stretch the floor.
It would be nearly impossible for opposing defenses to double-team Howard while he's surrounded by Green, James Harden and Chandler Parsons.
Does it Make Sense?
The answer on this one is a resounding "yes" from me. Both teams would immediately become more balanced.
For Boston, Asik gives them a legitimate center on the roster and a great complement for Kelly Olynyk. As for Houston, their one position of need right now is power forward. Plugging Jeff Green into that slot would give the Rockets one of the most complete starting lineups in the NBA.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference unless otherwise noted.