Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the Portland Trail Blazers are not interested in trading center Robin Lopez to the Houston Rockets for center Omer Asik.
My Grantland pals Bill Simmons and Zach Lowe recently had a compelling podcast discussion offering all sorts of reasons why the better-than-expected Portland Trail Blazers might be moved to try to upgrade from Robin Lopez to Asik at center by offering Lopez and another quality asset in exchange for Dwight's disgruntled backup.
All indications at this point, though, suggest that Portland is thrilled with Lopez's impact and not planning to make a run at Asik. Houston is similarly lukewarm on the idea.
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 in November, a shift that reportedly caused him to request a trade.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts has repeatedly praised Lopez, saying "I love Robin" after one November game.
Lopez, 25, holds career averages of 7.3 points and 4.1 rebounds. The six-year veteran is averaging 8.9 points and 8.5 rebounds so far this season. He is under contract through the 2014-15 season.
Asik, 27, holds career averages of 5.4 points and 7 rebounds. The four-year veteran averaged a career-high 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds last year but is averaging just 4.4 points and 6.8 rebounds this season. 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.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter