He is the greatest Turk since Kamal Ataturk!
OK, maybe that’s pushing it a little too far.
But Turkish native Omer Asik is a better-than-serviceable legitimate NBA center, and there is one NBA truism (centers always get paid) that goes hand- in-hand with another: Centers have high value on the trade market.
No doubt Rockets GM Daryl Morey will be asking for the moon and stars in an Asik deal, because that’s what he learned from making so many trades with the New York Knicks. But the well is dry in New York in terms of what Morey might be looking for, so he’ll likely have to turn elsewhere.
Beat writer Jonathan Feigen reports today that Asik is expected to play in Tuesday’s game against Boston (showcase?), but it seems clear that this marriage is headed for divorce sooner rather than later.
Houston currently leads the NBA in rebounding, but what the Rockets still need is a banger of a power forward who can step out and draw defenses away from Dwight Howard. With the way Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin and James Harden are shooting the 3-pointer, Morey does not need a stretch 4. He needs a Charles Oakley 2.0. And he’ll also need a backup center.
Where can that be found?
Here are three deals that would make sense for both teams. To be clear: These are suggestions only; not rumors.
Asik and a future No. 1 draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Thaddeus Young and Kwame Brown.
The Sixers need a center to rebuild with who can stick around for a few years and team with Nerlens Noel as a 1-2 rotation. They are probably going to lose Spencer Hawes anyway, because he will be a free agent at the end of the season and will be in high demand, and they can afford to part with Young if it’ll get them back a No. 1 pick. Remember, they already have two — their own and the Pelicans’ pick. The Rockets don’t have anyone else’s first-round picks to deal, but they do have their own — and they can throw in New York’s second-rounder(s) in 2014 or 2015 as a little gravy.
Asik to the Dallas Mavericks for Shawn Marion
Question to Morey: Who is going to defend Kevin Durant in the playoffs? Yes, he is unguardable, but you have to try someone. Marion could be that player, and if Marion can’t stop Durant, there are still a few other quality offensive players on other contending teams that would find “The Matrix” to be a handful. This would be a total buy-low opportunity for the Mavs, who need a long-term center. If they wait past Dec. 15, Samuel Dalembert could be thrown in, which would make even more sense. Dalembert’s $3.8 million salary for next season is a team option, so the Rockets get him as a rental — and stay well under the luxury tax line.
Asik to the Atlanta Hawks for Pero Antic and Elton Brand (Dec. 15 restrictions) and Jared Cunningham.
Rockets get out from under Asik deal, get back two bigs, including one who shoots threes. Hawks get real center that allows Al Horford to play the 4, where he’s better. Hawks can also sign someone off scrap heap to replace Brand and Cunningham.
Got any suggestions of your own?
Add them to the comments section, and I’ll tell you what I think.
Chris Sheridan is publisher and editor-in-chief of SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.