Nets, Rockets Had Talks About Asik, Lin

December 22 2013 at 9:16am CST By Chuck Myron

Plenty of teams have been linked to Omer Asik of late, but it appears the Rockets also had discussions with a team that hadn’t been rumored to be in the mix. Houston had preliminary talks with the Nets involving Omer Asik as well as Jeremy Lin, a source tells Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com. Youngmisuk describes the conversations as due diligence on the part of the Rockets, and apparently Houston asked for Deron Williams in return. The Nets weren’t receptive to trading Williams since his presence in Brooklyn was one of the reasons Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett gave their blessing to the trade that brought them to the Nets this summer, Youngmisuk writes.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com brought up a similar notion yesterday, and though it appeared that his mention of a Nets-Rockets deal for Asik was merely speculative, he might know more than he let on. Berger suggested the Nets could offer Paul Pierce and a first-round pick in return, though I doubt the Rockets would go for that.

The Rockets abandoned their efforts to trade Asik by a self-imposed deadline this week, and while GM Daryl Morey says Asik will probably remain in Houston “for quite a long time,” it still seems there’s a strong chance the Turkish center is on a new team by the trade deadline. He’d make more sense for the Nets now that they’ve lost Brook Lopez for the season. Asik’s nearly $15MM balloon payment for 2014/15 that dissuaded many teams from trading for him wouldn’t seem to be an issue for high-rolling Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, even though Lin is due the same amount next season. That would mean $30MM in actual salary, plus luxury tax penalties, for two players whose combined salary cap hits are about half that amount. Williams is due close to $18.5MM this year and $19.75MM in 2014/15, though his salary aligns with his cap hit.

The most popular response from Hoops Rumors readers in last night’s poll suggested the Nets should trade for someone in response to Lopez’s injury. It sounds like Nets GM Billy King was thinking of a trade even before the injury happened.

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