Rockets Likely To Keep Asik, Lin Through Season

Omer Asik was the hottest trade candidate in the NBA a month ago, but it doesn’t sound like that will be the case again in advance of the trade deadline. It’s likely he and Jeremy Lin will finish the season on the Rockets, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, who hears that the market for them is becoming increasingly worse.

Both are due balloon payments worth nearly $15MM next season, though they’re only seeing about $5MM this year. With each paycheck the Rockets issue Asik and Lin, their trade value slips, since part of the rationale for other teams who would absorb next year’s increased costs had been this year’s bargain prices, as Deveney explains.

Their cap hits are close to $8.4MM each this season and next, but that doesn’t reflect the actual payments they’re receiving because Houston signed them via the Gilbert Arenas Provision, as I pointed out last month in examining the way Asik’s contract affected his trade value.

“It is a tough sell to bring something like that to your owner,” an executive from a rival team told Deveney. “You have got to tell him, ‘We’re getting a pretty good player, an $8MM player. Oh, but we have to pay him $15 million. We will be giving him LeBron (James) money. That’s OK, right?’ That’s not really a conversation you want to have.”

It’s still possible that the Rockets could find a deep-pocketed team willing to trade for Asik, but Houston probably isn’t as motivated to find a new home for Lin, who’s having the best shooting year of his career, Deveney notes.

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