Ever since the Houston Rockets signed Dwight Howard this summer, the question of what would happen to Omer Asik immediately came to the forefront.
He was the incumbent starting center, but like Howard was a defensive minded big man who had little offensive game in the first place, but certainly couldn’t step out and knock down jumpers. And so, there were three choices. The first was to try and play them together, though that was a move that was unlikely to work. The second was to make Asik the backup, something he was not excited about. The third was to try and trade Asik, in return for a big man who could play away from the basket – a stretch 4.
Through the first two weeks of the season, the Rockets have tried option one, but as almost everyone expected, it hasn’t gone so well.
The sample size is getting bigger, but the Asik/Howard offense isn’t getting better: pic.twitter.com/cDZHsPToNq
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) November 12, 2013
And so the Rockets have stuck mostly with option number two. While Asik has started the majority of the Rockets’ contests so far this year, he’s played sparingly, averaging just 20 minutes a game. Technically he’s been a starter, but there’s no doubt as to who the number one man down low is for the Rockets. Then last night, Coach Kevin McHale brought Asik off the bench (and only played him 4 minutes), making it official that Asik is the second string center.
Frustrated with how the season has started, Asik now wants to turn to option number three. According to a report from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Asik has asked to be traded.
With his starting job gone and his playing time slashed, Rockets center Omer Asik has asked to be traded, two individuals with knowledge of the request said Thursday.
Asik declined to comment publicly about the situation, but his agent had this to say.
“I would say the situation is very frustrating right now and were trying to work through it,” Miller said. “For Omer, the objective has always been to continue to develop and grow as a player. That’s why we came to Houston in the first place. If that objective can’t be met, if we can’t get the right platform to grow and contribute as a player, it’s certainly frustrating.”
It should be interesting to see what happens moving forward, as Asik is clearly unhappy in Houston – whether he declares it publicly or not. The idea of swapping Asik for New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson has been tossed around. Multiple teams across the league are sure to be interested in Asik, who showed last year that he can be a starting center in this league.