According to this article, the Rockets are perhaps getting a little more serious about shipping out Asik before the deadline. As the Rockets have no leverage in the situation and are simply trying to turn their sour-hearted back up center into something more useful, I'd think that we should be able to acquire him for less than perhaps we originally thought. I'd imagine, even, that at this point, getting rid of him could even be one of those addition by subtraction situations for Houston a la the Blazers and Felton. I'm going to propose a few trade scenarios that are attractive to me and see what you guys think. Please chime in!
- Blazers Get: Asik
(Attractive because....we're in a win now mode and we trade away future talent for current talent. CJ and Mo do the same thing, so although we get older at that position and less deep, we do that so that we can use an Asik/Lopez tandem instead of a Lopez/Freeland tandem in the front court. So while I recognize that CJ is a sacrifice, we do upgrade overall for the 4-6 year window we're looking down the barrel at.)
- Rockets Get: CJ, Freeland, and Claver (and subsequently cut Claver?)
(Attractive because...the Rockets get a good, young combo guard to back up Lin and Harden. Like the Blazer's 3 guard rotation of Lillard, Matthews, and Mo - the Rockets would have a solid 3 guard rotation of Harden, Lin, and CJ. They get this for a downgrade from Asik to Freeland as Howard's backup - who doesn't see a lot of minutes anyways. Freeland's higher PER and his more positive locker room presence and attitude coming in as a back up to Howard are both reasons why Houston wouldn't see this as getting worse in the front court. Add all of that up and Houston diversifies Asik's contribution into 2 necessary, solid contributing players).
- Blazers Get: Asik
(Attractive because...they get Asik for Freeland, CJ, and Crabbe. Basically it's the same impact on the roster as the trade above.)
- Rockets Get: Bargnani
(Attractive because...they swap out a disgruntled back up C, a backup PF, and some picks for a quality starting PF. No brainer as the Rockets are in win-now mode.)
- Knicks get: CJ, Freeland, Motienjunas, Crabbe, and two 2nd round picks (Houston owns 6 additional picks in 2014, 15, and 17. Whichever 2 they choose would suffice), and shed $4.4M in salary - creating a $4.4M trade exception.
(Attractive because...the Knicks are terrible this year and they're buried financially under huge contracts for under-performing players. In this deal, they accomplish the standard blow-it-up goals of getting younger, getting assets, and shedding salary. They would basically decide to completely rebuild a la the Celtics (a couple times over the last decade), tank for Wiggins, and perhaps swing a couple more of these types of deals for late first rounders in 2014 to shed their other huge contracts.
- Blazers get: Asik
(Attractive because...of the same reasons listed above)
- Rockets get: Jason Terry, Freeland, and Claver
(Attractive because...they get a veteran presence with playoff experience off the bench in Terry, a solid back up with better efficiency numbers than Asik at center, and garbage player in Claver for Asik. Pretty much the same appeal as above - but with the added benefit of a veteran presence.)
- Nets get: CJ, 2 of Houston's 2nd rounders, and a $3.3M trade exception (hugely valuable for teams over the cap)
(Attractive because...the nets are not very competitive right now and they are being hindered by issues with old age. In this deal, they get a little bit younger and more future proof by swapping out Terry for CJ. They don't need to keep Terry on hand with a team already chalk full of veteran leaders with playoff experience, anyways, and could benefit from CJ's diverse, combo-guard game. They also gain 2 assets in those 2nd rounders and, probably the biggest part of this deal, a $3.3M trade exception. Those are massively important for teams that are this far over the salary cap and adds a lot of flexibility to their next summer or two as they try to re-tool a decent enough roster to be competitive. It's a small move for them, but a solid one.)