Omer Asik will remain with the Houston Rockets for the time being. Despite numerous trade rumors, no deal materialized by general manager Daryl Morey's deadline. The Rockets still have until February 20 to trade their center if they can't figure out how to make him happy with his diminished role.
The past weeks have brought with them a lot of speculation. Where would the big man from Turkey end up? Would it be a three-team deal? Would Houston's general manager get the first-round picks he so craves?
The one thing we all knew with certainty was that Asik would be gone by the end of December 19, Morey's self-imposed deadline, per ESPN's Marc Stein.
Or so we thought.
In the end, Morey couldn't get a deal that satisfied him and ended trade talks, according to Stein. He also reports that—in theory—the Rockets could still trade whoever they acquire on December 20 before the league's trade deadline.
But by now, it seems far more likely that Houston will try to find a way to make its backup center comfortable. Getting first-round picks for Asik seemed to be more likely than that.
How can the Rockets make him happy?
The obvious answer is by increasing his playing time. However, so far he and Dwight Howard haven't combined well on the floor. Neither is a capable power forward, and both live inside the paint.
What does the future hold for Asik?
Playing them together more than a couple of minutes per game appears to be hardly an option.
Decreasing Superman's time on the floor seems highly unlikely as well. At least not in a significant way. And Asik will most probably be unhappy if he plays less than 25 minutes a game.
It will be interesting to see Morey, head coach Kevin McHale and the Rockets find a solution to this puzzle.
If the Turk cannot be cheered up, we may see a trade soon.
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