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The Trade: Houston Rockets send Omer Asik (two years/$16.6 million) and a second-round draft pick to New Orleans Pelicans for Ryan Anderson (three years/$25.3 million).
Why Houston Does It: This one has been floating around for a long time, but there has to be a reason why it hasn't happened yet. Anderson has had success with Howard before in Orlando and he's one of the league's best three-point shooters, so it's hard to see why Houston wouldn't want this deal. If anything, my guess would be that it has to do with the defensive side of the ball.
Howard isn't quite the rim protector and overall help defender he once was, and the Rockets are already bleeding on the perimeter thanks to James Harden. Adding another below-average defender, on a long-term salary no less, might give the Rockets some pause.
That said, it's hard to imagine very many lineups that could outscore Houston with Anderson on board.
Why New Orleans Does It: Maybe there's hesitation from New Orleans as well. Until Anthony Davis can really solidify his jumper, there's some definite risk in moving such a capable shooter and floor-spacer. Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans need driving lanes, and Anderson creates those where Asik doesn't.
Fears of Asik leaving in unrestricted free agency after next season might be another factor, as New Orleans might not have the desire to go deep into the luxury tax to keep him.
Anderson's deal, meanwhile, expires at the same time as Eric Gordon's (unless Gordon declines his player option for the 2015-16 season) and might mesh better with the overall financial plan.
At least on the court, it's still hard to argue that Anderson is a better fit than Asik.