Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports that the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets are discussing the possibility of a trade involving disgruntled center Omer Asik.
The Trail Blazers are off to one of their best starts in years, but they're not kidding themselves. They know they've taken advantage of a pillow-soft schedule and have surprised themselves with their shooting (46% entering Friday). So they're quietly looking to improve, talking to the Rockets about trading for Omer Asik. They can send back Robin Lopez in a deal, but don't have the "stretch four'' the Rockets are looking for as they search for a home for their disgruntled backup center.
Bill Simmons of Grantland.com floated a similar trade proposal earlier this week.
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 8.2 points and 8.0 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