The Dwight Howard signing is behind us. The fallout is happening now — in Houston, in Los Angeles, and around the rest of the NBA.
First and foremost, Omer Asik has asked for a trade out of Houston, but the Rockets are refusing his request. They believe Asik could be a valuable asset to play alongside Howard.
Asik still has two years and over $20 million left on his current contract with the Rockets. As Kevin McHale told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, “With Omer, he had a great year for us last year and really became one of the top centers in the league,” he said. “It’s just when you have an opportunity to get Dwight, it’s hard not to. I’m sure Omer right now is a little down in the dumps, but we’ll pick him up.”
If Asik is relegated to backup duty, he’d get around 20-25 minutes in his new role. Asik might not be happy with this, but keeping him on board to give Houston top-rated frontcourt depth could be one of their linchpins to winning a championship next season.
If you need a free agency update, check our Top 50 — updated every day.
Here is more of the latest news around the league, but also be sure to take a quick look at how Dwyane Wade outed Gabrielle Union as a farter:
- J.J. Hickson has reached agreement with Portland on a three-year, $15 million deal. From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports: Denver will give Hickson, a 6-foot-9 forward-center, the annual full mid-level exception of approximately $5 million, plus the 4.5 percent annual bonuses allowed per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, sources said. Denver GM Tim Connelly is still working to get an agreement with restricted free agent center Timofey Mozgov, sources said. The Hickson deal doesn’t deter the franchise’s desire to bring the 7-foot Russian center back on a multi-year deal. Hickson, 24, averaged 12.7 points and 10.4 rebounds for the Portland Trail Blazers last season. He was seventh in the NBA with 40 double-doubles.
Bucks agree on a two-year, $6.5M deal with Carlos Delfino, w/ team option for 3rd that could pay him nearly $10M, league sources tell Y!
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2013
- In one of the few signings so far on a quiet Sunday, the Los Angeles Clippers are re-signing backup center Ryan Hollins. According to Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears, who first broke the Hollins news, Hollins will receive a one-year contract with the Clippers. After missing out on Carl Landry, Los Angeles needed more frontcourt depth. Hollins is an athletic big man who should bring hustle and energy off the bench for Doc Rivers’ Clippers squad. Teams always need that “glue guy,” and Hollins could be it for the Clippers.
- Hollins invited all of Los Angeles to celebrate:
— Ryan Hollins (@TheRyanHollins) July 7, 2013
- Antawn Jamison could join Hollins on the Clippers. According to ESPN’s Los Angeles’ Ramona Shelburne, the Clippers are among a few teams courting Jamison. He is expected to decide soon on where he wants to play. After missing on Landry, Jamison would be a cheaper option and provide more perimeter shooting for an already loaded team. Jamison is no bad consolation prize, since he will have a shorter contract and cost less money. It sounds like the Clippers are the favorites for Jamison’s services, as of now. The other teams in the running for Jamison are unknown at this point.
- Per Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, Kobe Bryant let Dwight have it postgame after a loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis. Reportedly, Bryant got in Howard’s face and was sick of Dwight’s playful attitude. As Wojnarowski also mentions, Howard needs to have unconditional love and be coddled to succeed. That obviously did not happen while he played for the Los Angeles Lakers. This could have been one of many reasons why Howard decided to leave the extra $30 million on the table and take his talents to Houston next season. One thing is for certain here, Howard will be given all the unconditional love Houston can offer — except perhaps from Asik.
- Jared Sullinger seems to think the Boston Celtics will not be rebuilding next season. Sullinger told reporters the following: “When you have Celtics pride, you don’t have time to rebuild. You gotta play hard, you gotta play smart. I think with the veterans we have like Gerald Wallace coming from Brooklyn… and we have Jeff Green so have everybody counts on us. But we still have Rondo. He won a title in ’08. He knows what it takes… that word rebuild, we really don’t like it.” Sullinger seems adamant that the Celtics will not be terrible next season, but a lot of people have the opposite thought. The second year power forward also told reporters the following as well: “Everyone’s talking about how we’re going to tank, plus how were going to do this. We just want to play and everybody shut up.” With Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry all gone, Boston is purely in the ‘rebuilding’ stage. Now with Brad Stevens as coach, expect a culture change from top to bottom.
- Other free agency news happening today was Linas Kleiza opting-in with the Toronto Raptors. He will make $4.6 million next season. New general manager Masai Ujiri has been making some core-shaking changes to Toronto, and he is not done yet after dumping Andrea Bargnani on the Knicks (check out Sheridan’s take). Ujiri is trying to unload Rudy Gay’s contract, and there have also been rumors about him shopping DeMar DeRozan as well. It certainly appears Ujiri will do whatever it takes to get the home-grown Toronto product Andrew Wiggins in a Raptors uniform by tanking next season. Back to Kleiza, expect Toronto to use their one-time amnesty clause on him soon. It is simply too much to pay for a player like Kleiza. There are 15 teams that still have their amnesty clause, including the Bobcats, who are expected to use it on Tyrus Thomas.
- Before getting Dwight Howard, Houston unloaded tons of contracts either by trade or declining options. One of those moves were trading former first-round pick Royce White to Philadelphia for future considerations. As ESPN’s Kevin Pelton noted, it is a win-win for both sides here. White did not play a single game for the Rockets last season due to severe anxiety issues and fear of flying. Simply put, he was a headache for Houston. Nobody in the NBA plays closer games to home then the Sixers, so it makes sense to put White in a car and drive him 6-7 hours to games, if he is willing. Philadelphia played 57 games only 8 hours away from their facilities. If they could get that much out of White, it is a win for the Sixers. It is a gamble by Sam Hinkie, but White could pay off big-time for Philadelphia.
- Summer League officially started on Sunday. For the NBA junkies out there, Summer League is the first chance to see how rookies and undrafted free agents look in action. First, some teams will play in Orlando, while others will play in Las Vegas later in the week. Many NBA executives and media will be on hand to see how their prospects look. It should be fun to watch how this year’s class finally looks like in action. Also, some 2012 draft picks will be playing as well. If you want to watch both the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues, tune into NBA-TV all week.
- In his first Summer League action after spending last season with Portland, Boston’s Nolan Smith suffered an apparent tear below his calf muscle. It is a massive blow for Smith, as it will take months to recover. Boston also needs a new point guard for the time being as well.
- With missing out on Dwight Howard, Dallas has gone all-in on Andrew Bynum. Word is Dallas is exploring giving Bynum a contract with multiple ‘outs’ in it worth $8 million a year.
Portland has reached agreement with free agent Earl Watson, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, says.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 7, 2013
Evan Sidery is a regular contributor to SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.