Report: Pelicans Trade Pick To Rockets For Asik

The New Orleans Pelicans have found a center to pair with Anthony Davis, and the Houston Rockets seem one step closer to creating their own Big Three. Win-win. A report says that the Pelicans have agreed to trade a 2015 first-round pick to the Rockets in exchange for Omer Asik.

The news is courtesy of Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowksi.



In Asik, New Orleans gets the behemoth rebounder and rim-protector its longed to put alongside Davis in the frontcourt. Asik is limited offensively, but is among the league’s elite interior defenders. This move ensures that Davis will be saved from the wear-and-tear of playing center for extensive minutes, and will shore up a defense that was the league’s seventh-worst last season. And though Asik is extra expensive due to the poison-pill contract he signed with Houston in 2012, he’ll be a free agent after the coming season. This move gives the Pelicans very little cap flexibility, but they didn’t have much to begin with and have plugged one of their biggest holes.

The deal makes just as much sense for the Rockets. Asik has been potential trade-bait since Houston acquired Dwight Howard last summer, and hardly made his desire to be dealt quiet last season. That the Rockets received a first-round pick – though its heavily protected, apparently – for a player that was mostly expendable is a major boon. Even more important? Shedding Asik’s contract gives Houston just over $8 million of additional cap space that they will use to lure LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in free agency. The Rockets still have some wiggling to do to get enough cap space to sign either star outright, but trading Asik is step one of that process.

A trade that makes sense for both teams? Perfect. This is how all swaps should look. Let’s hope there’s similar cooperation tomorrow during the NBA Draft.

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