Posted November 14, 2013

Report: Rockets’ Omer Asik requests trade after losing starting job

Ben Golliver, Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, Omer Asik
(Sam Forencich/Getty Images)

Omer Asik is averaging 5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. (Sam Forencich/Getty Images)

We’re less than three weeks into the Dwight Howard era in Houston and his Twin Tower partner reportedly wants out already.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Rockets center Omer Asik has requested a trade because his role has been reduced in the wake of Howard’s arrival.

With his starting job gone and his playing time slashed, Rockets center Omer Asik has asked to be traded, two individuals with knowledge of the request said Thursday. … The Rockets have no trade involving Asik in the works, with one individual saying a deal is more likely in months than in days.

““I would say the situation is very frustrating right now and we’re trying to work through it,”” [Asik's agent Andy] Miller said.  ““For Omer, the objective has always been to continue to develop and grow as a player. That’’s why we came to Houston in the first place. If that objective can’’t be met, if we can’’t get the right platform to grow and contribute as a player, it’’s certainly frustrating.””

Asik, 27, was Houston’s full-time starter last season, appearing in all 82 games and averaging 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds in 30 minutes per game. When Howard decided to spurn the Lakers and sign with the Rockets, reports indicated that Asik was seeking a trade. Instead, Houston coach Kevin McHale opted to start both Howard and Asik to open the season, an approach he stuck with until this week, when the seven-foot Turkish center was shifted to a reserve role. 

This season, Asik is averaging 5 points and 7.2 rebounds in just 20.7 minutes per game. Howard, meanwhile, is averaging 18.2 points and a league-best 14.9 rebounds per game in 36.8 minutes per game.

Following a 5-4 start, it’s understandable why Kevin McHale is investigating his options at the position, a process that saw second-year forward Terrence Jones move into the starting lineup this week. In eight appearances together, the Howard/Asik combination has struggled, to say the least. Per NBA.com/stats, the pair has put up an offensive rating of 87.3 (way, way down from Houston’s overall offensive rating of 103.9) and a defensive rating of 103.1 (worse than Houston’s overall defensive rating of 100.2).

There’s little question that the spacing issues many feared would arise by using the two big men together have proven to be accurate, and the jumbo-sized lineup hasn’t been able to compensate on the other end. The early returns strongly suggest that their minutes need to be heavily staggered, which is easier said than done given how Howard’s heavy playing time load.

The Houston Chronicle reported in July that Rockets GM Daryl Morey had no plans to trade Asik despite the early reports he wanted out. Then, in September, the paper quoted McHale saying that Asik was “a player” whose “job is to come in and play” rather than “wonder” how Howard’s arrival affects his position on the team.

The Point Forward’s Rob Mahoney identified Asik as one of the top 2013-14 trade targets back in October and The Point Forward labeled Houston’s power forward position as one of the key battles to watch entering the season.  Howard ranked No. 7 in SI.com’s Top 100 of 2014 list; Asik ranked No. 69.

31 comments
jackgorfin
jackgorfin

We will give you Steve Nash straight up for him, its a great trade trust me..........Mitch

Turkiye
Turkiye

What is with these Turkish born players, who have made the NBA ,  and the quick decision to be traded , when the light does not shine on their heads ?

As I recall, there was another Turkish born NBA player in the 90's ,  who was also, upset when playing, if I am not mistaken, for the NY Knicks, and he asked to be traded, and  "swish" he was traded and disappeared into "unknown"  status.

Let me give,  Omer Asik,  a word of advice, stay "put" where you are and have  the "reputation" of being Howard's back-up. He will retire one day and you will have time to develop.

Otherwise, you will also "disappear" into an "unknown" status as your prior countrymen, who came to the NBA to seek fame. Houston is a "major" market.

Alternatively, there is also the Turkish Basketball Professional League. who would love to see you back in your homeland.

FYI, I am a Turkish born naturalized USA citizen for the last 40+ years.



LivingLegend76
LivingLegend76

Houston should trade Asik to Washington for Nene.

Mike572
Mike572

I think Houston should follow the Spur's system of selecting players for their team.  Houston seems to just offer contracts to any player who is a free agent not knowing if he is a good fit or can play in their system.   The Spurs exactly know what players they want who can fit seamlessly into their system which is why they are always contenders.

MMoney0021
MMoney0021

Would love to see him back in Chicago but his contract is brutal plus he does not want to be a backup.  

jackdeelee
jackdeelee

Well he's in his prime and Houston elevated him to a starter, making serious NBA money, then they pulled it all back, I can understand why he wants a trade.

malgus
malgus

Omer Asik is a starting center, unless you have Dwight Howard on your team

Chris10
Chris10

Anyone asking for a trade away from Howard is a smart basketball player

EnashWaca
EnashWaca

Trade him to the Pelicans for Ryan Anderson.  Asik can play center in NO and Davis can move back to PF where he is more effective.  Anderson plays well in Howard.  Both teams win.

J Taylor
J Taylor

funny... It could have worked if Howard hand any offense or post moves.

Now, it's a fair request. Asik and his agent just put the league on notice that he's available. - He'll be traded way before the deadline.



kenc29
kenc29

It's the coach's job to figure out how to use the talent given him, not be an old-school neanderthal and pretend a player is just an automaton to be used and not heard. You'd think McHale would know better since he was an all-time great player. McHale seems to have difficulty sorting out roles, he can't figure out how to use Asik with Howard, and he's had difficulty figuring out how to use Lin with Harden. Maybe the coach is part of the problem.

M20
M20

As a basketball fan, I was hoping this would work, but it looks really bad so far. Shame. Both good players. I thought it'd be fun to see them piling up 25-30 boards a night between the two of them. Hope the Rockets can swing a trade that makes the team more coherent. I love their core and really want to see how they do with the right pieces around them. Morey is usually good at filling out rosters with role players, so we'll see...

NoThanksESPNFacebook
NoThanksESPNFacebook

This seems like a repeat of the story the day Dwight signed with Houston. Maybe Houston was able to placate Asik for a while but it reached a breaking point with the benching. Well hopefully Asik goes somewhere else if that's what he really wants and the Rockets get some value back for him.

DeeFreshh
DeeFreshh

He has a better chance to win he's going to be traded to Portland, Celtics or something FOR JEFF GREEN BE GOOD

ShawnKemp2012
ShawnKemp2012

Dwight Howard is a lazy and dumb basketball player.  49% from the free throw line?!?! Pathetic.  Karl Malone shot 48% from the ft in his first year in the NBA.  Know what he was shooting 2 years later?  70%. Dwight has never improved his skills in any area of his game.    

mikel roy
mikel roy

asik is smarter than howard....  howard got peanut brain...

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@Turkiye Asik is already better than 2/3 of the starting centers in the NBA.  He will develop more by playing than by backing up, and with the right team he can possibly earn a much better contract than his current contract which expires in 1 1/2 years.

Asik had a very good situation with the Bulls in terms of a winning team, having a chance to develop, etc, and he left for Houston specifically because they offered him the chance to start.  It would be stupid of him now to sit on his hands and not at least request a trade.

Hampton180
Hampton180

@Mike572 That's like saying everyone should play like Michael Jordan.  If they could they would.

Mike572
Mike572

@EnashWaca  that's a good trade to make, but the problem I think lies in Asik's contract specifically the last year (similar to Jeremy Lin) where he get's paid something like $14M which other teams might not want to deal with since it will affect their cap room for that year.  But player for player trade, it is a good idea.

PaulKelly
PaulKelly

@EnashWaca  The Ryan Anderson idea is interesting. Anderson understands how to work with Dwight and they did have some chemistry with the Magic. Anderson s a good player that can score and defend, wonder if the Pelicans would do that? Dwight is a great center, he is just nuts. He thinks he is still 12 years old.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@kenc29 Some pieces don't fit well together, and the proper way to use Asik on this particular team is to use him as a backup to Dwight Howard.

Most people who follow the NBA knew that Houston would be trading Asik this season, for the reasons that his agent outlined, as well as the fact that he's simply more valuable on virtually any other team.

Houston's GM will extract good value for Asik from some other team who can use a center of his quality (virtually every other team in the league) and Asik can start again and be happy.

malgus
malgus

@mikel roy Peanut Brain or no, Dwight has the physical talent over Asik in the basketball department.

Mike572
Mike572

@Hampton180 @Mike572  That's totally different.  It's called building a team.  The Spurs know how to build a team which is why they have been contenders for the past 15 or so years.   Houston does not because like I said select players that will fit your system, who are willing to sacrifice a little for the ultimate goal.  It's not about having the best talent but having the best TEAM.  Houston, Brooklyn, New York are teams that just offer contracts to superstars or potential stars but do not get anywhere.  A team with lesser talent but with great team chemistry can win a championship and the Spurs have proven that.   I think right now, Indiana seems to be that other team that is built similar to the Spurs system and so far things are looking good for them.

nsbanks43
nsbanks43

@Bearsclone @kenc29 Asik has a very unfriendly contract that has prevented Houston from getting anything for him so far,  Don't be fooled by the company line, Houston knew they had to move Asik the day they signed Howard but nobody will pay much with that poison pill contract.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@Mike572 @Hampton180 THe Spurs have been contenders for 15 years because they got lucky as hell getting Tim Duncan when they were already a championship caliber team.  It's much easier to fit pieces around a hall of fame core than to build that core without getting lucky draft picks.

They did a good job drafting foreign talent and developing their draft picks, but again that's easier to do when you have a high character hall of fame player leading your team.

Houston has rebuilt in a short time after a career ending injury to Yao Ming, and Tracy McGrady's health and other issues ending his stardom, and they've done it by assembling pieces and being smart about how they manage their cap.  Lots of other teams wanted Harden but didn't have the right trade chips, and lots of other teams wanted Howard but didn't have the cap room or the roster depth to win.

Houston still has moves to make before they are a perennial championship contender but they have made a ton of progress in only a few years time.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

@nsbanks43 @Bearsclone @kenc29 Not so.  His hit in year three is only 12 million, which is below the going rate for a quality big man who has proven to be productive as a starter.  Houston got him as a STEAL because he had never started a full season with the Bulls, and it was unclear whether he would become more productive or less productive with greater playing time.

There are probably a dozen teams or more who would want Asik if he's available, it's just a matter of finding the right pieces in return.

The only teams that wouldn't want him are those who are either set at center already, or who think they have a serious chance of signing Lebron in 2014 and want to clear cap space in that year.