The Houston Rockets will trade Omer Asik sooner or later. He's not happy in Houston and is not a good fit next to Dwight Howard. This isn't a secret. People have known that the Rockets need to trade Asik ever since they signed Howard, but there's been nothing close to a deal up to this point. On December 15th (Sunday), players that were signed during the offseason are eligible to be traded. It's important for the Rockets to trade Asik by December 19th so that any players they receive in a trade can be re-packaged with other players before the deadline.
ICYMI: Rockets will trade Asik next Wednesday or Thursday. And do not discount Cleveland/Varejao. Would be perfect fit next to Howard.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) December 13, 2013
It makes perfect sense that the Rockets would want Anderson Varejao. His deal is only partially guaranteed next season and would be a very nice fit with Dwight Howard. He excels in defending pick and rolls and has enough range on his jump shot to so that they won't clog the paint for Houston's guards.
The Cavaliers did have interest in Asik when he was a free agent a few years ago and again during the offseason before they signed Andrew Bynum. As I wrote in July, the odd structure of Omer Asik's contract is not a factor for the Cavaliers.
"As far as Asik's contract is concerned, a lot was made about how the Rockets structured his deal to pry him from the Chicago Bulls. This is irrelevant for the Cavs. The cap hit is evenly distributed for every year on the deal, despite the actual salary being backloaded."
Asik will have a cap hit of about $8.3 million next season.
The problem with a potential Varejao for Asik swap is that I don't see why the Cavaliers would be particularly interested in doing such a trade. The Cavaliers signed Andrew Bynum during the summer and he has been a pleasant surprise for the Cavaliers. Mike Brown, in particular, seems pretty dedicated to seeing the Andrew Bynum experiment through. It seems highly highly unlikely that the Cavs would get rid of Bynum now in order to pursue Asik. There's no denying that Bynum has significantly higher upside than Asik and you don't have to give up anything to get Bynum since he's already on the roster.
Could Asik and Bynum coexist? I doubt it. Asik is a far superior defender, but Bynum has the size to act as a rim protector. I'd love to see what Mike Brown could do with Asik's defensive abilities, but defense is not currently the problem. The main problem with the 2013-14 Cleveland Cavaliers is their lack of spacing and flow on the offensive end. Asik has no offensive game to speak of and would not help the Cavs' spacing. Asik just doesn't really fit on this roster as currently constructed.
Varejao has recently started playing better for the Cavaliers and is the last remaining link to Mike Brown's former Cavs teams. For a team that is finally starting to figure things out and play together as a team, would it be wise to trade one of the few veteran players away?
For all of those reasons, I think a trade of Asik for Varejao is pretty unlikely. But David Aldridge is a very good reporter and I don't want to write his report off entirely. But for now, I'm not too concerned about any sort of deal happening. Now if the Rockets could be convinced to include Chandler Parsons in some sort of more complicated deal, you'd certainly have my attention. But the odds of that happening are incredibly low. Alas.
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