The Houston Rockets have mentioned trade interests for the Philadelphia 76ers’ Thaddeus Young. Meanwhile, Houston center Omer Asik has been demanding a release since the beginning of the season.
According to an ESPN.com report, the Rockets are telling teams they intend to trade the 7-footer between Dec. 15-19. The website believes the Sixers are “a viable destination for Asik.”
But should Philadelphia trade Young for Asik?
Philadelphia fans don’t want to see Nerlens Noel at center when he returns. That being said, Spencer Hawes would make a more suitable trade but Houston probably won’t go for that. In the long run, Asik would be a quality big man for the team but right now he may hurt the tank.
Asik can pound with massive centers and grab boards, set mean screens, and take hard fouls. He is a very talented center. The negatives are that offensively he has hands of stone, is very slow, and sulks when things don’t go according to plan. On the flipside to that, Brett Brown is a magician in player development, so you can count on him maximizing Asik’s potential.
Asik, a native of Turkey, is averaging 10.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. Meanwhile, Young’s versatility could be attractive for the Rockets. The 6-foot-8, 230-pounder averages 15.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals. Young is also shooting 37.8 percent on three-point attempts (14-for-37).
The Rockets’ website mentioned Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie’s relationship with Asik and that Sixers power forward Thaddeus Young could mesh well with Dwight Howard. Sam Hinkie was an executive with Houston for the last eight seasons. Last summer, the Rockets signed Asik to a three-year, $25.1 million deal when he was a restricted free agent with the Chicago Bulls.
It would be interesting to see Asik and Noel as center/forward for the Sixers. Defensively, Asik could be anchored under the rim, while Noel covers their four-man. Noel could be a weak-side flyswatter for the team, thus taking off some of the pressure of him coming in.
What you have to remember is that the Sixers don’t have to trade Young. The Rockets have to trade Asik. Maybe if point guard Isaiah Canaan as well as a 2015 pick came along to sweeten the pot, then the conversation would be ideal. What is also important to remember is that Sam Hinkie has done favors for Houston GM Daryl Morey already, so anything is possible.
For the moment, though, Houston will likely continue to press for all it can in potential negotiations. Asik is one of the very best centers in the league when given a chance to fill a major role, and a high-order interior defender that could help any number of teams. If a deal doesn’t materialize by the targeted trade window, though, other teams might find that Houston is willing to bend a bit to keep its options open.
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