Report: Rockets sure to deal Omer Asik
To most players, fans, and staff of the Houston Rockets, landing Dwight Howard in free agency this past Summer was a win, but to big man, Omer Asik, the acquisition has been a nightmare.
Reports of Asik requesting a trade surfaced almost as soon as Howard signed on the dotted line, but in recent weeks, the requests have turned into demands, and the defensive specialist has now reportedly checked out mentally. Asik doesn’t want to be a part of this situation any longer, and has even missed the Rockets’ last two games.
From Marc Stein of ESPN:
The center was scratched from Saturday’s home game against Denver essentially because he’s so unhappy with his new role that he’s in no state to play. Word is Asik has been asking the Rockets pretty much once a week, since Dwight Howard’s arrival in July, to please trade him elsewhere. And now losing his starting spot, on top of what was already a reduced role, has clearly knocked the 27-year-old back.
Sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com that Asik was challenged by coaches and teammates this week for not being “engaged” in the wake of the lineup change, which took effect when Asik was moved to the bench for Wednesday’s game in Philadelphia. And he hasn’t played since the challenge, logging zero minutes Thursday night in New York while in uniform and not even dressing against the Nuggets.
The Rockets had visions of going big and playing Asik alongside Howard, but this hasn’t really worked, as Howard struggles at the four. Asik’s minutes have been cut, hovering around 20 per game, and even dropping to just four minutes in the Rockets 117-123 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers back on November 11th.
The situation has reportedly deteriorated to the point of what seems like permanent benching or a quick trade for Asik. The real question is when will said trade occur, and to whom? Asik averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game last season and showed off his defensive chops as a solid NBA starter. There has to be teams out there who need production like that.