The Trade: Atlanta Hawks send Paul Millsap and Jared Cunningham to the Houston Rockets for Omer Asik, Terrence Jones and $3 million in cash.
Why the Rockets do it: If Dwight Howard and Omer Asik can't mesh in the same frontcourt, it might be time to acquire an established power forward who can stretch the floor and man the high post.
Paul Millsap has plenty of experience playing alongside a low-post oriented center because of his time in Utah next to Al Jefferson, and his addition would almost certainly make the Houston Rockets the most efficient offense in the NBA. Millsap is a complete offensive player, and he'd be a nightmare to cover with all of Houston's other options.
Jared Cunningham could provide some athleticism and depth behind Harden, while the trade of Terrence Jones and Omer Asik would clear time for Greg Smith, a player with a ton of potential who deserves minutes.
Houston would also get out of actually paying Asik $14.8 million next season, which would surely make owner Leslie Alexander very happy.
Why the Hawks do it: It's hard to truly compete without a rim protector and elite defender at the 5. With the exception of Miami, every playoff team in the Eastern Conference seems to have a big-bodied center manning the paint, and Asik could very well be that guy for the Hawks.
While Millsap is a great player, his skills and production may overlap with Al Horford's a little bit too much. Atlanta will be challenged defensively with its current lineup, and the upgrade on that end from Millsap to Asik is a massive one.
Getting a young power forward in Terrence Jones would probably be enough to put it over the top for Atlanta, as Hawks general manager Danny Ferry would likely want an asset for the future in any trade for Millsap.
The inclusion of the $3 million in cash would lessen the blow of Asik's big money due next year to $11.8 million, which isn't that big of a jump from Millsap's $9.5 million he's due.
Remember, $3 million is the maximum amount of cash that can be included in a trade, and cash can't be used to balance the salaries coming in. That money would solely be to help Atlanta pay Asik next year.
Probability Percentage: 80 percent. Millsap and Asik are two of the hottest names on the trade block, and although playoff teams rarely deal with one another, the positional needs of both teams are accounted for in this deal. Millsap is probably more likely to get dealt because of the money owed to Asik, but it wouldn't surprise me to see both players on new teams after the deadline.