Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Receive: C Omer Asik
Houston Rockets Receive: SF Shawn Marion
Here's what Rockets GM Daryl Morey told season ticket holders about trading Asik, as transcribed by the Houston Chronicle:
"We pushed to trade Omer in December. We felt we had to make a fair and aggressive effort to do that. Obviously, he’d prefer to be a starter. At this point, Omer is very likely going to be here until the end of his contract at the end of next season, not this season. The window to trade him was (in December), and teams weren’t aggressive enough to get him, so we’re excited about him being a part of our future."
Could the Dallas Mavericks be aggressive enough to make Morey change his mind?
The Rockets and Mavericks would certainly make for strange trade partners, as it's rare that two potential playoff teams in the same conference deal with one another at the deadline.
This deal would appear to be mutually beneficial for a few reasons, though. For the Rockets, they'd turn Asik into an incredibly effective small-ball 4 who has plenty of experience playing in uptempo systems. Marion would serve as a badly needed plus defender who can cover multiple positions, which is a big deal.
Houston would also get out of paying Asik the $15 million in salary he's due next season while also pulling one step closer to clearing max cap space next year, if that's something Morey desires.
One of the challenges with trading Asik is that general managers may be a little sheepish about asking their owners to pay up, but Mark Cuban has never had a problem doing that in the past, particularly for centers.
With Asik, the Mavericks would have their defensive anchor in the middle next to Dirk Nowitzki, which should be a priority at this point. Losing Marion would hurt, but getting younger at a position of need is probably worth the price. Asik can be a big difference maker.