The Blazers have been talking to the Rockets about acquiring Omer Asik, reports Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, who passes along the news amid his league roundup. Portland’s lack of an outside-shooting power forward, the sort of asset the Rockets are seeking, is a stumbling block, according to Lawrence.
Blazers management is cognizant that much of the team’s 11-2 start has been accomplished against a relatively easy schedule so far, prompting them to seek improvements to the roster. Lawrence speculates that Portland could give up Robin Lopez, and his cap hit, though more than $2MM less than Asik’s, is close enough to accommodate a one-for-one swap. There’s no indication Lopez is a part of the talks, however.
Asik is one of the league’s primary trade candidates, and has reportedly made weekly trade requests since the Rockets acquired Dwight Howard in the summer. Still, the Rockets appear to be in the early stages of sorting through trade possibilities for their backup center.
One team that apparently won’t be in the mix for Asik is the Bulls, as Lawrence writes that owner Jerry Reinsdorf is “dead set against” bringing the 27-year-old back to Chicago, since doing so would likely push the team further into luxury tax territory. The Bulls could probably find some sort of package, perhaps involving a third team, that would allow them to trade for Asik without taking on salary, but it sounds like no such deal is on the table.