NBA News: Dwight Howard to sign with Rockets; Omer Asik on the block?

The domino has finally fallen. Dwight Howard, in his typical back and forth waffling style, has chosen to leave the Los Angeles Lakers via free agency for the Houston Rockets.

In doing so Howard leaves money on the table (in the neighborhood of $30 million), but presumably has a better supporting team around him in Houston. He joins James Harden, Jeremy Lin and company on a 45 win team that also traded for Thomas Robinson this off season.

The Rockets hope that Howard will instantly give them the inside scoring option that the team needed to be a championship contender. In the end, Howard had narrowed his choice down to staying with the Lakers or moving on to Houston or the Golden State Warriors. Golden State had made themselves attractive in the last few days by adding veteran Andre Iguodala to an exciting young team.

The Rockets might not be done however.

Brian Windhorst reports that current Houston big man Omer Asik is not very happy about the Rockets’ recent acquisition-

“Asik has no interest in being Howard’s backup or playing next to him, a source close to the Rockets’ center told ESPN.com. It is not yet clear if Asik would demand a trade.

It is possible the Rockets will look to engage the Atlanta Hawks in a sign-and-trade deal for free agent Josh Smith. The Hawks are open to making a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets for Smith, league sources said. Smith and Howard played together on summer teams as teenagers and have talked in the past about becoming teammates in the NBA.

Asik, a quality defender who averaged career highs in points (10.1), rebounds (11.7) and blocks (2.7) while starting all 82 games for Houston last season, has a complicated contract that could become a challenge in a trade.”

Could the Cavaliers have an interest in trading for Asik? The 7-0 center from Turkey turned 27 years old on July 4th. He is durable playing in all 82 games of his 3 year career twice, and playing 66 games the other. He is a good defensive player and rebounder that is developing his offensive game. He averaged 12.3 points per game in the playoffs for the Rockets.

In addition to the Atlanta Hawks, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the New Orleans Pelicans are serious about acquiring Asik.

[Related: Earl Clark signing low on risk, low on excitement]

  • TNB

    Sorry, but Asiks contract isn’t worth bringing him into Cleveland. While he’s on the cap for 8.3-9m officially, he’s owed something like 14-15m this season alone, from what I’ve read. He’s a good center, but I don’t think you go put on a limb to take a “good” center this year if you’re the cavs, because I don’t think he brings that much to the table. Clearly, Houston thought they couldn’t get it done inside with him, what should make the cavs any different?

  • boomhauertjs

    The Rockets traded for Robinson during the season and traded him away this summer.

  • simond

    to clear cap space to sign howard

  • dwhit110

    Asik would be a great fit for us, much like the people clamoring for Pekovic but probably cheaper (cap wise) and more durable.

    Hard to see a trade that would make much sense for Houston though. They’re in win now mode so the draft pick cocktail that we could offer does little good and interest in Varejao is low until he can prove his health.

  • saggy

    I disagree.

  • woofersus

    Got him for cheap and sold him for cheap. It’s not so trivial to dump a $14 million salary. Would probably cost us at least a first round draft pick. There’s no way around that contract handcuffing us for next year’s off-season moves. If they bring him in he better become a long term starter.

  • woofersus

    Asik is due $14 million in the 2014-2015 season due to the poison pill contract Houston concocted. That severely limits our cap space and flexibility for next summer, and he is in no way a guy who puts us over the top. I’m not even certain he would start if Andy is healthy.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I believe something happens with this kind of contract if a player is traded. I.E. the team trading him assumes some of the contract. I say I believe because I don’t know but there was a discussion about this very thing during the week when it was rumored Asik might be expendable to make room for Howard.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I second that Asik if economically feasible would be a perfect addition for the Cavaliers. The frontcourt would be set: Thompson, Bennett, Clark, Varejao, Zeller and Asik.