Omer Asik Rumors

Southwest Notes: Barea, Mavs, Pelicans, Cotton

October 27 at 11:13pm CST By Alex Lee

The Rockets were the busiest Southwest team on roster cut-down day, waiving a total of five players to get down to 15. However, the Mavericks had an interesting day as well, deciding to waive reserve point guard Gal Mekel in hopes of reuniting with recently released J.J. Barea. Let’s see what else is going on in the Southwest tonight:

  • As Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes, any team that wants to claim Mavericks-target Barea off waivers would need more than about $4.5MM in cap space, or a trade exception or disabled player exception of at least that size. Sefko mentions the rival Rockets as a team that might want to claim Barea but likely wouldn’t based on its lack of flexibility.
  • The Mavericks tried to acquire Barea from the Wolves last season but the teams couldn’t come to an agreement, according to Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press (via Twitter).
  • The Pelicans‘ desire to re-sign Omer Asik is a factor in the team declining to pick up the 2015/16 option on Austin Rivers, writes John Reid of the Times Picayune. Reid adds that with Eric Gordon likely to opt in to his $15.5MM salary for next season, New Orleans preferred the additional financial flexibility.
  • Bryce Cotton, who was released by the Spurs last week, plans to sign with San Antonio’s D-League affiliate in the next few days, sources tell Jabari Young of Comcast Sports Northwest (via Twitter).

Rockets, Pelicans, Wizards Swap Ariza, Asik, Ely

July 15 at 2:19pm CST By Zach Links

2:19pm: The deal is official, the Pelicans have announced. New Orleans is folding Scotty Hopson into the trade after acquiring him over the weekend, marking the third trade for Hopson’s non-guaranteed contract in less than a week. So, It’s Asik, Casspi and $1.5MM to the Pelicans, Ariza, Gee, Hopson and a protected 2015 first-round pick to the Rockets, and Ely to the Wizards.

TUESDAY, 10:23am: The NBA has given its approval for the trade, and a formal announcement is forthcoming, according to John Reid of The Times Picayune (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 7:55pm: Ely will not be retained by the Wizards, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.

5:59pm: Ariza will go to Houston on a three-way deal, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com (on Twitter).  The Pelicans will get Omer Asik, Omri Casspi, and $1.5MM from the Rockets.  Houston will get Ariza from Washington, Alonzo Gee, and a protected 2015 first-round choice from New Orleans.  The Wizards will take on the non-guaranteed contract of Melvin Ely from New Orleans while receiving a $8.5MM trade exception (link).

Of course, Asik was already headed to the Pelicans in exchange for the 2015 first-rounder.  Now, the deal has been expanded to help facilitate the Ariza sign-and-trade.  Gee, meanwhile, has now been traded twice inside of a week.

5:08pm: The Rockets will acquire Trevor Ariza in a sign-and-trade deal with the Wizards, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  The Wizards will get a $8.5MM trade exception by making the deal, but it’s not clear what they’ll be sending to Houston in the trade.

The Rockets and Ariza agreed on a four-year, $32MM deal yesterday.  A number of teams were rumored to be interested in the sharpshooter’s services, but the Rockets came out on top.  Ariza will try and help fill the void at small forward for Houston now that Chandler Parsons is Dallas-bound.

Ariza’s contract is structured on a declining scale, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.  He will earn $8.6MM this season, and $8.2MM, $7.8MM, $7.4MM, in the following years.  Ariza could have served as a stretch four alongside Dwight Howard if Parsons was retained, but he’ll now line up at his natural position.

In 77 games with the Wizards last season, the Rob Pelinka client averaged 14.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per night.  He shot 40.7% from beyond the arc, well above his career mark of 34.7%. Ariza, 29,  played in Houston during the 2009/10 season.

While Ariza is a nice addition, it goes without saying that this wasn’t the summer the Rockets had in mind.

Western Notes: Miller, Kings, Bledsoe, Pelicans

July 6 at 10:58am CST By Eddie Scarito

Mike Miller is scheduled to meet with the Nuggets today, reports John Martin of ESPN929.com. The article also notes that the Grizzlies made an initial offer of two-years and an annual salary between $2.4MM and $2.9MM. The Thunder, Rockets, and Trail Blazers are all reportedly interested in Miller’s services, notes Martin.

More from the west:

  • The Kings are looking to clear up their overstock of power forwards through the trade market, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter links). The team is seeking a defender and a shot blocker to shore up their interior, and also want to free up some of the cap space tied to that position, notes Jones.
  • The Suns and Eric Bledsoe‘s agent Rich Paul are in early stages of contract talks, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Spears also notes that many of Bledsoe’s other suitors are in a holding pattern until Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James make their decisions.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic signed a four-year deal with Fenerbahce that contains an NBA out clause in 2016, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Bogdanovic was the 27th overall pick of the Suns in this year’s NBA Draft.
  • The Pelicans lack of action on the free agent front is disconcerting, writes Jimmy Smith of the Times Picayune. One stopping block is the team’s need to clear enough cap space to complete the trade of Omer Asik, notes Smith.
  • Jeff Withey’s minimum salary for this coming season became partially guaranteed for $100K when he remained on the Pelicans‘ roster through Saturday. It’ll become fully guaranteed if the Pelicans decline to waive him before the end of July 22nd, as our Schedule of Contract Guarantee Dates shows.
  • The Thunder has named Darko Rajakovic as an assistant coach, the team announced via a press release. Rajakovic led Tulsa to a combined 51-49 record over two seasons, including a 27-23 record and NBA D-League Semifinals appearance in 2012/13. Coach Scott Brooks had this to say, “Darko’s diverse basketball background, knowledge of the game and ability to develop players at a high level were clearly apparent during his time in Tulsa, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to add him to our staff. His understanding of the core tenants of what we do, thanks to his time in Tulsa, will maintain a level of consistency that we value and his various head coaching experiences internationally will provide another layer to our coaches.”

Western Notes: Pelicans, Hawes, Anthony, Bosh

July 5 at 9:38pm CST By Eddie Scarito

The Pelicans haven’t made any moves in the free agent market yet, but still have Anthony Morrow in their sights, writes John Reid of The Times Picayune. New Orleans’ primary focus though, continues to be finding a trade partner to move either Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers or center Alexis Ajinca in an effort to create enough cap space to absorb center Omer Asik‘s $8.4MM cap hit, notes Reid. The article also notes that several teams remain interested in acquiring forward Ryan Anderson in a trade, but the Pelicans are still reluctant to part ways with him.

More from the Western Conference:

  • Spencer Hawes was the Trail Blazers primary free agent target this summer, writes Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Haynes reports that Portland offered the exact same contract terms as the Clippers, but Hawes found Los Angeles to be a better fit.
  • Despite the reports that the Knicks are likely to retain Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers made a major impression on the free agent, reports Bill Simmons of ESPN.com (Twitter link). According to Simmons’ sources, it’s now a three team battle between New York, Los Angeles, or the Bulls to land ‘Melo’s shot attempts.
  • Chris Bosh definitely has an interest in the Rockets and Mavs, reports Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio (Twitter link). Amico also notes that Bosh has “zero knowledge” of what LeBron James is going to do in free agency.

Western Notes: Randle, Lin, Ariza, Stuckey, Davis

July 2 at 11:15pm CST By Zach Links

Specialists have determined that Lakers first-round pick Julius Randle does not need surgery on his right foot and has been cleared to play, tweets Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. More from around the NBA..

  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey brushed off criticism over the club’s decision to photoshop Carmelo Anthony wearing the No. 7 that is sported by Jeremy Lin, writes Mark Berman of FOX 26.  Of course, if Houston manages to sign Melo, that could mean the end of Lin in Houston.  “Bottom line, if Carmelo comes Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin have to be traded. It’s just math. It’s not personal,” said the GM.
  • The Jazz are among the suitors for Trevor Ariza, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
  • Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter) hears that there is definite interest in free agent guard Rodney Stuckey, particularly from high-level clubs.  Goodwill suggests that a return to the Pacific Northwest could also be in the cards for the guard.  In recent days, we’ve heard that the Magic and Pacers have interest.
  • The Clippers have been talking to free agent Ed Davis and they’re optimistic, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com.  The Grizzlies opted against tendering the 25-year-old an offer earlier this offseason.

Western Rumors: Warriors, Asik, Parker, Kings

June 26 at 12:35pm CST By Zach Links

In an interview with SiriusXM, Warriors star Andre Iguodala said that he doesn’t believe teammate Klay Thompson should be traded as part of a deal for Minnesota’s Kevin Love, writes Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group. “That’s not going to happen,” Iguodala said. “I want to clear that up right now. We should not trade Klay Thompson. I tell Klay this every day. I text Klay and say, ‘Don’t worry. I’m your man. I’m going to make sure you get paid. I’m going to get you the max (contract). You’ll be taken care of. Don’t stress.’”  Here’s more out of the West..

  • More dominoes will fall from the deal that sent Omer Asik to the Pelicans, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.  New Orleans may move Austin Rivers to create cap space.  One possibility, Windhorst suggests, would be trading him to the Clippers, where Austin’s father holds a trade exception.
  • The Rockets talked about sending Asik to the Pelicans for Ryan Anderson, but could not get much traction, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
  • The Jazz remain interested in Jabari Parker, but sources say there’s still a “big concern” about his right foot, which he broke in high school, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.  However, Parker is still in the lead over Andrew Wiggins on their wish list if they can pull off a deal for the No. 1 pick (link).
  • The Kings appear poised to keep the No. 8 pick, sources tell Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
  • Sponsors continue to be skittish about the Clippers as the team’s ownership situation remains unresolved, as Andrea Chang and Tiffany Hsu of the Los Angeles Times detail.
  • The Timberwolves received initial criticism for last year’s draft-day trade of Trey Burke to Utah for Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng, but one year later, team president Flip Saunders is happy with the returns, writes Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press.

Rockets To Trade Asik To Pelicans

June 25 at 10:53pm CST By Cray Allred

10:53pm: The pick is protected so that it will only convey to the Rockets next year if it falls between the No. 4 and 20 selections, tweets Feigen.

9:25pm: The Rockets have a deal in place to send Omer Asik to the Pelicans, sources tell Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The Pelicans will send a protected 2015 first round pick to Houston, who is moving Asik to clear cap space in pursuit of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony (all Twitter links). Sam Amick of USA Today first reported that Houston will also send cash to New Orleans as part of the deal, and Windhorst reports that the amount is $1.5MM (via Twitter).

The Rockets were reported to have deals in place for both Asik and Jeremy Lin, so this is not a shocking development. While a source tells Amick that Lin won’t be moved until the Rockets have a marquee free agent lined up to sign, Asik’s overlapping skill set with starter Dwight Howard makes him a less risky player to part with preemptively. The Turkish big man was shopped by the Rockets last season, but the balloon payment on the upcoming final year of his contract cooled teams from acquiring the elite defender. Of course, Houston was interested in getting back a player to help in their playoff run at the time, which wasn’t a factor in this trade.

The pick from New Orleans has layers of protection, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Feigen says it will likely end up going to the Rockets in the late lottery or as high as No. 20 next year, depending on the Pelicans’ regular season performance. Since New Orleans doesn’t own its 2014 first round pick, the trade would need to be finalized following tomorrow’s draft since teams are prohibited from being without a first round pick in two consecutive seasons.

Amick reports that the teams plan to make the deal official in July, suggesting after the July moratorium, when New Orleans would presumably send back contracts to match the roughly $8.4MM cap hit that accompanies Asik. Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times notes that the nonguaranteed contracts on New Orleans’ roster would not equal enough in salary to match Asik’s number and stay under the cap for a valid trade. The Pelicans will have to clear more salary in advance of finalizing the deal, since it would be self-defeating for Houston to take back significant salary as part of the deal (Twitter links).

Rockets Set To Trade Lin, Asik

June 21 at 12:11pm CST By Cray Allred

The Rockets have deals in place to move the contracts of both Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Houston would need to move both deals to make room for either Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, but they are waiting to part with Lin and Asik until they are sure they could land either superstar this summer. Presumably, a deal for either would bring back limited returns thanks to the bloated payout due each player for the 2014/15 season. If Houston were to part with the burdensome, but productive players only to strike out in free agency, it would weaken their team heading into next season.

‘Melo is increasingly expected to opt out and change teams, but his decision to leave the Knicks is still weighing on him, writes Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal. The Rockets are considered a front-runner to land ‘Melo if he opts out as expected, and the Bulls are their steepest competition. Chicago has been zeroing in on the All-Star since February, making a host of moves to clear the necessary cap space to sign him, per Herring. James appears more likely to remain with his home team in Miami, but should he leave the Heat, both the Bulls and Rockets are preparing to pursue him as well.

The Rockets snagged Lin and Asik away from Chicago and New York before the 2012/13 season with identical contracts that include a balloon payment exceeding the cap hit in the final year, which is the approaching 2014/15 season. Ironically, the deals that pried the pair away from their respective teams in 2012 are now putting Houston at a disadvantage against the same teams in acquiring Anthony.

Southwest Notes: Parsons, Nowitzki, Marion

June 5 at 4:56pm CST By Chuck Myron

Other teams have outsized expectations of what the Rockets can achieve in the player acquisition department based on Houston’s recent success, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. The Rockets have been leaning all year toward declining their option on Chandler Parsons, so this week’s news isn’t necessarily an indication that they suddenly have confidence that they’ll land another marquee player this summer, Lowe says. There’s plenty more on the Rockets in Lowe’s piece, and we’ll hit the highlights here amid the latest from the Southwest Division:

  • The Rockets asked Charlotte for the equivalent of three first-round picks in return for Omer Asik this season, Lowe also writes in the same piece. It’s unclear exactly what would qualify as the equivalent of a first-rounder, but perhaps Lowe is referring to a rookie fresh off having been a first-round pick, like Cody Zeller.
  • Parsons has repeatedly asked for a raise the past two years, leading Lowe to wonder if he’s promised to re-sign in exchange for the Rockets declining his option.
  • A new contract for Parsons this summer would most likely count at 50% of its value for outgoing salary-matching purposes in a sign-and-trade, as Mark Deeks of ShamSports explains in a piece for Hoop365. It’d count at full value for incoming salary in that scenario, one of the reasons why it will be difficult for the Rockets to pull off such a maneuver, Deeks adds.
  • Mavs owner Mark Cuban isn’t worried about a report identifying Dirk Nowitzki as a free agent target of the Rockets, telling Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News that, “I don’t pay attention to that.”
  • Reports that Shawn Marion wants to finish his career as a member of the Mavericks misconstrued his meaning, as Marion said Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that he merely meant to say that he wants to live in Dallas after he retires from playing. Still, he would prefer to re-sign with the Mavs this summer. Vince Marotta of ArizonaSports.com rounds up his comments.
  • Jarnell Stokes, K.J. McDaniels and Russ Smith will audition for the Grizzlies next week, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal reports in a subscription-only piece.

Rockets Likely To Decline Parsons’ Option

June 4 at 10:02am CST By Ryan Raroque

WEDNESDAY, 10:02am: The Rockets are leaning toward turning down their option on Parsons, but the team has yet to finalize its decision, a source tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Houston is nonetheless likely to decline the option, unless it gets the sense that he’ll receive offers it deems too high, Feigen hears. The willingness to make Parsons a free agent this summer indicates the team’s confidence in its ability to sign a marquee free agent this summer, as Feigen observes. Houston would have to clear a significant amount of salary off its books to make that happen, but the Rockets like their chances of moving Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, since they would be looking for cap flexibility rather than players in return, Feigen reports.

TUESDAY, 9:35pm: The Rockets plan to decline Chandler Parsons‘ fourth-year team option and make him a restricted free agent this summer, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski ofYahoo Sports. Parsons’ 2014/15 option is worth $960K, and if Houston decided to ultimately pick up that option, the 6’9 forward would hit unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2015. The team is said to be wary of allowing Dan Fegan – Parsons’ agent – the ability to land his client a monster contract on the open market next year, and by letting Parsons hit restricted free agency this July, Houston could simply match an offer sheet and keep him on a long-term deal.

Interestingly, Wojnarowski points out a few other distinct advantages that Houston has by letting Parsons hit free agency now. The Rockets reportedly have their sights set on chasing after big time free agents who have the option of opting out of their deals this summer, including LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, and Dirk Nowitzki. In one scenario, Wojnarowski writes that the Rockets could secure a max free agent to play alongside Dwight Howard and James Harden, and then subsequently re-sign Parsons to a new contract below the max-level range. Wojnarowski also hears that the Rockets are also pursuing Timberwolves star Kevin Love in trade talks, adding that Parsons could alternately be used as a bargaining chip in a potential sign-and-trade with Minnesota.

Selected 38th overall in 2011, Parsons has not only proven to be one of the most promising young players at his position, but one of the best value players in the entire league. In 74 games this past season, the former Florida Gator averaged 16.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 1.2 SPG in 37.2 MPG while shooting 47.2% from the field and 37.0% from long distance. After earning roughly $890K in 2013/14, Parsons – according to a league executive – could command as much as $12MM or $13MM annually on his next contract.

Houston will have until June 30 to formally decline the option. At the very least, says Wojnarowski, doing so clears the way for Parsons to receive an enormous payday now and creates a better climate for the Rockets to negotiate an extension with their prized young forward.