Bill Simmons of horticulture, pop culture, culture, gardening, television, celebrity gossip, gossip, boll weevil removal, planking, literature, and sports website Grantland.com -- also known as "The Sports Guy" -- discusses the Portland Trail Blazers on a recent episode of the B.S. Report podcast.
Joined on the show by TNT analyst and former Blazers guard Steve Kerr, Simmons suggests that the Blazers should consider trading starting center Robin Lopez to the Houston Rockets for disgruntled reserve center Omer Asik.
Audio of the show can be found right here.
Here's a transcript of that exchange, one of multiple Asik trade scenarios floated during the discussion.
Bill Simmons: "I think Portland is a possibility too because [the Rockets] get Lopez back. They get one more shooter, they get Portland's draft pick. And just Portland upgrading from Lopez to Asik, I think all of a sudden they would have a chance for a four or a five seed."
Steve Kerr: "Portland would be interesting. They're obviously a great story at 9-2. I thought they'd be pretty good, I thought they'd be the seventh or eighth seed in the playoffs just because they're very good offensively and I felt like they would be better on [defense]. Terry Stotts has made some adjustments with their pick-and-roll coverage. Lopez, even though he isn't a flashy guy, who you see -- wow, look at that guy -- he does some good things for them. Their defense has gotten much better, it's allowed them to finish out some games on the road like we've seen in the last couple of nights, in Toronto and Brooklyn."
Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com has transcribed some additional comments from Simmons and Kerr on the Blazers right here.
Last season, Asik was Houston's full-time starting center but he has been supplanted by Dwight Howard. Asik opened the season by starting alongside Howard but coach Kevin McHale moved him to the bench last week, a shift that reportedly caused him to request a trade.
Lopez, 25, holds career averages of 7.2 points and 4 rebounds. The six-year veteran is averaging 7.7 points and 7.3 rebounds so far this season. He is under contract through the 2014-15 season.
Asik, 27, holds career averages of 5.5 points and 7 rebounds. The four-year veteran averaged a career-high 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds last year. He is under contract through the 2014-15 season but his deal is back-loaded; Jason Patt of SB Nation lays out the details here.
Dane Carbaugh took a look at Lopez's play so far this season in a video breakdown right here.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter