It’s no longer a matter of whether the Rockets will trade Omer Asik, but where they’ll deal him and what they’ll get back, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The center was a healthy scratch for last night’s game essentially because he’s upset over his removal from the Rockets starting lineup, and he’s been begging Houston to trade him nearly once a week since the team signed Dwight Howard, Stein reports. The Rockets have come to grips with the notion that their relationship with Asik is irrevocably damaged.
Rockets coaches and Asik’s teammates challenged him for his lack of engagement following the team’s decision to take him out of the starting lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Sixers, as Stein reveals. He didn’t play at all the next night against the Knicks or last night versus the Nuggets, indicating that the 27-year-old didn’t take well to the challenge. Howard and Chandler Parsons told reporters yesterday that they recognize the situation is difficult for Asik.
“He had a great year last year and to bring in someone over him has to be a little frustrating,” Parsons said. “It is part of the business and you have to be a professional about it and come to work every day. He is on the Rockets, so he has to act like that and come to play and come to win.”
Rockets executives aren’t willing to let Asik go without significant return, and they like the idea of having another elite defender to back up Howard, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner, Stein writes. It’s unlikely the team finds a trade partner for the Andy Miller client before December 15th, when most players signed this past offseason become eligible to be traded. Still, more than 90% of Hoops Rumors readers believe Houston should send Asik elsewhere.