In the wake of the Dwight Howard-to-Houston saga, the future of the Rockets’ starting center last year, Omer Asik, seems to be very uncertain. Soon after Howard signed, Asik made it clear that he had no interest in playing with the superstar big man, and he requested a trade. Almost immediately, the team publicly stated that it had no interest in trading him.
This looked like it would be the end of it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The latest NBA trade rumors have stated that Houston is in talks with a few teams regarding Omer Asik, and the leader of the pack seems to be the New Orleans Pelicans. In the proposed trade, it would be a one-for-one swap of Asik and power forward Ryan Anderson. There’s not many trades in the NBA that are 100% even, but this would certainly be one of them.
In Asik, the Pelicans would establish one of the more dominant defensive front courts for the next couple years at least, as him and young big man Anthony Davis would be a terror when paired up with each other.
Speaking of Davis, this would allow him to move to his more natural position of power forward, and it would mean that he wouldn’t get abused by the bigger centers of the NBA like he did last season. Davis is only 220 pounds, and when you compare that to someone like Roy Hibbert, who is 280 pounds, you can see why a change of position would be necessary, at least until Davis has more time to bulk up.
Along with the benefits of being able to move Davis, this trade would only be giving up something that should be a surplus this year for the Pelicans; scoring. With the addition of Tyreke Evans, as well as Eric Gordon returning from injury (hopefully he stays healthy), and Austin Rivers showing some new-found confidence in the Summer League, the team should have no problem scoring. Given that they are a fringe playoff team at the moment, a move for an established NBA center without having to give up any of their talented quartet of guards could propel them into the 5 or 6 seed in the Western Conference; a far cry from the cellar dwellers that they have been the past couple of years.
Of course, the Rockets would also be benefitting from this proposed trade as well. It’s pretty obvious that an Asik and Howard pairing would be an absolute nightmare as far as spacing on the offensive end because neither of them have anything resembling a mid-range game. This could eventually force Asik to come off of the bench, and given his qualms already about playing with Dwight Howard, this could be a real issue for their team chemistry. On top of the potential chemistry issue of bringing Asik off of the bench, it would be outrageous to pay $15 million in 2014-2015 to a bench player.
Acquiring Anderson would also be a reunion between him and Howard, as the two played together for a few years in Orlando with the Magic. In 2011-2012, Anderson had the best year of his career to date while playing with Howard and the Magic, and it was clear that D12′s presence really helped him out.
He got more open looks than ever before because of the threat of Howard down low, and he certainly made good use of them, winning Most Improved Player and posting an impressive PER of 21.2 (which puts him about on par with Stephen Curry’s PER this season).
He would solve any spacing problems that the Rockets may currently have in their front court as it is currently aligned, as well as being able to pick up the rebounds that Dwight Howard can’t get to. An offensive four-some of James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Anderson, and Howard would be one that could rival any team in the league for the crown of best scoring team.
This trade would be beneficial to each of the teams involved; the Pelicans for the ability to move Anthony Davis to power forward, and the Rockets to solve any spacing issues (and any potential chemistry issues), as well as being beneficial to both players involved; Asik because he would continue to be a starter, and Anderson because he would again be paired with Dwight Howard, whom he spent the best year of his career with.
It’s rare that you find a trade that works for literally everyone involved, so I’ve got one thing to say to Houston General Manager Daryl Morey and New Orleans General Manager Dell Demps: Pull the trigger on the Asik/Anderson swap, it makes too much sense not to happen.
What do Houston fans think of this trade proposal? How about Pelicans fans? Let me know in the comments section below!
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