Houston's a pretty big city, but there was never enough room on the Rockets' rotation for both Dwight Howard and Omer Asik. The organization might have liked the rest of the league to believe otherwise, all in an attempt to increase leverage when the time to deal finally arrived.
That time is nigh.
CBS Sports' Ken Berger reports Asik may be on his way out, with the rebuilding 76ers at the front of the line to claim him: "The Rockets have renewed efforts to trade disgruntled center Omer Asik, with the Philadelphia 76ers emerging once again as a potential landing spot, league sources told CBSSports.com on Tuesday."
Asik has wanted out since Howard's arrival, but it's doubtful he has Philly at the top of his wish list.
The 7-footer is averaging 3.9 points and 6.5 rebounds, all in just over 17 minutes per game. After earning 30 minutes a contest last season, it's no surprise Asik is feeling a tad unsettled.
The difficulty in moving the 27-year-old is that he's owed nearly $15 million next season, the last year of his contract. That's a steep price to pay for a defensive specialist who can't score from beyond the paint.
Nevertheless, knowing that defense wins championships, someone is bound to find Asik's price acceptable. He could be a building block for a team like the Sixers or a missing piece for a contender in need of rim protection. In short, a market exists.
But whom does that market include?