NBA Rumors : New Orleans Pelicans Place Omer Asik On Trading Block
Rumors are buzzing around the NBA that the Pelicans have placed center Omer Asik on the trading block. Omer is only playing 17 minutes a contest and is scoring 3 points a game.
Omer was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2008 but was traded to the Chicago Bulls in a 3 player deal. The Bulls sent Omer to Moscow where he played for the Fenerbahçe team, so he could improve as a player. Omer returned to the NBA signing a contract with the Bulls in 2010. Omer played for the Bulls from 2010 to 2012 where he averaged about 3 points per game.
Omer left the Bulls to go start for the Houston Rockets in the 2012-2013 season, which would end up being his best season so far. He averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, which shocked many. Next season though the Rockets signed Dwight Howard who would eventually replace Omer as starting center. He only averaged 5.8 points and 7.9 rebounds in 20 minutes a game. He became frustrated with the Rockets and wanted traded but got injured before the trade deadline and could not be traded.
Omer moved on again joining the Pelicans where he would start games again playing 26 minutes a game. He averaged 7.3 points and 9.8 rebounds a game. Since then he has played for the Pelicans, where this season is his third. Rumor has it that the Pelicans have placed the 7'0 big man on the trading block.
With Anthony Davis playing power forward and Alexis Ajinca playing center, there is no reason for Omer to start. Omer is better off playing somewhere else where he is going to play more, plus the Pelicans need help and they know they must start trading players to get other players.
Right now the Pelicans are 10-21 which is 12th best in the Western Conference. At this point both parties have nothing to lose.
Omer Asik draws some trade value because there are teams out there that need an experienced big man. Where would he be traded to though?
Celtics - The Celtics could use another big man for support and Asik would make the cut. Asik would not get enough minutes to make that much of an impact though. Asik is a solid rim protector who can pick up some blocks and rebounds, but the Pelicans would not get much out of the deal except a draft pick maybe.
Bulls - With Robin Lopez, Cristiano Felicio, and Bobby Portis as the Bulls' main centers, Asik probably would not make the cut. Trading Portis for Asik seems highly unlikely because Portis is quicker and can score from mid-range and even shoot past the arc, where Asik really can't. We also know the Bulls won't trade their starter Lopez unless they get other players out of the deal too.
Knicks - The Knicks have a really great center lineup with Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn, and Willy Hernangomez. With Noah being a former defensive player of the year, O'Quinn's mid-range jumper, and Hernangomez's energy - there is no place for Asik on the Knicks. The Knicks would trade O'Quinn or Hernangomez for Asik possibly if another player was involved in a 1 for 2 deal. Asik provides more defense than Hernangomez does but can not provide the amount of points Hernangomez can. Actually the Knicks are looking for defense though, so maybe Asik to the Knicks could be a good thing.
Rockets - This one makes a lot of sense. Asik is a former Rocket and all but that does not mean anything if I'm concerned. The Rockets have lost their starting center, Clint Capela for up to 6 weeks or more due to injury. The Rockets are repotedly trying to get another big man while their main starter is out. Asik averaged a double double in the 2012-2013 season, so we know he can provide for the Rockets.