The Pelicans have made Omer Asik available to potential trade suitors, league sources tell Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops, who writes within a larger piece. New Orleans just re-signed the 29-year-old center over the summer to a five-year deal worth nearly $52.978MM in base salary, but he’s averaging a career-worst 2.2 points in 13.9 minutes per game so far this season after suffering a right hamstring strain in early October. He’s missed seven games so far this season, and new coach Alvin Gentry has moved him in and out of the starting lineup of late.
Asik’s struggles have symbolized the trouble the Pelicans have experienced as they dealt with a slew of injuries that led to chaotic roster movement throughout the preseason and left the team shorthanded at times during a disappointing 6-18 start. The Pelicans have struggled to pick up Gentry’s offense, no surprise given the lack of practice time for many players.
New Orleans originally acquired Asik in a trade with the Rockets in the summer of 2014. The Celtics were reportedly expected to make a run at the B.J. Armstrong client during free agency this past offseason, but it’s unclear whether they did, as Asik and the Pelicans were already finalizing a deal on the first day of free agent negotiations in July, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
The Pelicans are over the cap and less than $4MM shy of tax territory, so they don’t have a wealth of flexibility to take on additional salary. They have a trade exception worth about $507K, but that’s likely too small to help facilitate any deal. Trade rumors have also surrounded soon-to-be free agent Ryan Anderson in recent weeks.
What should the Pelicans look for in a trade involving Asik? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.