---UPDATE: Friday, 6:16 p.m. ET by Joe Flynn---
Houston's front office would love to grant Asik his request for a trade...for the right price, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
In an effort to unload disgruntled center Omer Asik, the Houston Rockets have engaged in trade talks with multiple teams and are demanding an impact player in return, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Rival executives say that Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has been active in discussing possible deals for Asik, but his asking price has been too high so far. Morey has been willing to accommodate Asik's summertime trade request, but so far has found little traction on possible deals.
Daryl Morey has a good track record of finding the best possible deal for his team; he won't rush into any rash, shortsighted trade. Asik will just have to be patient.
---End of update---
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Asik has demanded a trade:
With his starting job gone and his playing time slashed, Rockets center Omer Asik has asked to be traded, two individuals with knowledge of the request said Thursday.
If this story sounds at all familiar, it's because this isn't the first time Asik has asked to be dealt.
UPDATE: The Rockets have told Asik that the team has no plans to move him at this time, sources told ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
-End of Update-
Per Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Asik requested a trade just days after the Rockets signed Howard as a free agent this past July. Since then, the Turkish center had been relatively quiet about the ordeal and adopted a generally professional approach to the controversy.
My header on Asik link should say, "Houston HAS engaged," w/ multiple teams on deals in recent months. They aren't necessarily engaged now.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 15, 2013
But as the Rockets' rotation picture came into focus during the season's first couple of weeks, it became clear that Asik wasn't going to play a prominent role in Houston. His fit alongside Howard in the starting lineup was clunky, and the Rockets struggled to score with both bigs in the lineup together.
Then, relegated to a reserve role on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, Asik saw the writing on the wall; he played only four minutes in the double-overtime thriller.
Despite the fact that Asik is a terrific defender who could help most teams in the league, it won't be easy for the Rockets to work out a deal. Per Mark Deeks of Shamsports.com, Asik's "poison pill" contract will only cost an acquiring team $8 million against the salary cap in each of the next two seasons, but whoever lands the big man will have to fork over $15 million in salary in 2014-15.
That said, Houston is still in need of a floor-stretching big to pair with Howard. If the Rockets can work out a deal to exchange Asik for any number of perimeter-oriented forwards, it could be beneficial for both parties.