Report: Houston Rockets Back Away From Omer Asik Trade Talks

It seems the Rockets’ self-imposed deadline today to trade resentful center Omer Asik will come and go and Asik will continue to back-up Dwight Howard in Houston — much to his chagrin. After a bevy of trade rumors had our heads spinning on Twitter yesterday, the Rockets apparently can’t find what they’re looking for in exchange for the Turkish center.

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports:

Houston general manager Daryl Morey informed Asik’s agent Arn Tellem of his decision on Thursday afternoon, sources said.

“This gives [Houston] a chance to buy some more time,” one source involved in the deal process told Yahoo Sports.

The NBA’s trade deadline is Feb. 20.

ESPN’s Marc Stein adds, via Twitter, that Asik’s poison-pill contract — which ups his annual salary to $10 million per year over this year and next, but that he’ll be a $15 million cap hit next season — has scared other teams away from a deal:



The Rockets offered Asik a three-year, $25.124 million contract in the summer of 2012, which his old team, the Chicago Bulls, did not match. The terms of the deal mean Asik will be a $15 million cap hit next season because of that poison pill final year of his deal, a cost it seems many teams heavily involved in trade discussions weren’t willing to pay.

By way of Hoops Rumors, the stipulations in the NBA’s 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement notes that a player cannot be traded less than two months after being involved in a trade. Larry Coon describes the rule in his CBA FAQ:

“[A team cannot trade a player] for two months after receiving the player in trade, if the trade aggregates the player’s salary with the salaries of other players. However, the team is free to trade the player immediately, either by himself or without aggregating his salary with other salaries. This restriction applies only to teams over the salary cap.”

That rule, combined with Asik’s anger over backing up new center Dwight Howard, led to Houston’s self-imposed deadline to offload him today.

But he’s still a Rocket and there’s no timetable on when, or if, the Rockets will trade him moving forward. It seems GM savant Daryl Morey might have outsmarted himself here, damaging trade discussions with the same poison-pill contract that allowed Houston to steal Asik from the Bulls.

Still, this could just be a ploy to force a team into a deal, so don’t put it past Morey and the Rockets brain trust to make a deal later today.


Disclosure: I’ve written for Hoops Rumors in the past.

With Asik be in a Rockets uniform next year?

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