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Rockets GM Morey says he’s not trying to trade Lin, Asik

Jul 3, 2013, 1:48 PM EDT

Jeremy Lin, James Harden AP

Rule No. 1 of trying to trade a player is to deny you are trading him, otherwise you lose all your leverage.

So when Rockets GM Daryl Morey was asked about reports that he was shopping Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, particularly in a possible deal for Josh Smith, of course he denied it to the Houston Chronicle.

But that doesn’t mean what he is saying is wrong, either.

Morey added that he is not looking to deal Omer Asik or Jeremy Lin….

“Both with Omer and Jeremy, we feel like they’re good fits for Dwight. Omer with Dwight would give us the best (centers) in the league in combination. Jeremy is an attacking guard, great in pick-and-roll, a great fit for Dwight. Dwight works great with shooting and attacking guards. Harden is great at both. That’s why he’s an All Star.”

It’s one of the challenges with Howard — he wants the ball in the post like a traditional center, and he shot a respectable 44 percent that way last season (and better as the season wore on and he got healthier). He should get his looks that way. But Howard’s greatest advantage as a big man is how well he moves, which makes him a wicked pick-and-roll big man (he shot better than 70 percent as the roll man last year). Whether it’s the Rockets or the Lakers or whomever, the team that lands Howard next year needs to convince him to play a lot of pick-and-roll.

As for Josh Smith and Howard as a pair, I’m not sold.

They should be a very good defensive team with Smith and Howard on the back line. But on offense both work best around the basket — with Howard taking up that space Smith will be more tempted to be pushed out and take the jumpers that he so often misses. The two of them near the basket clogs the driving lanes for James Harden and Lin; you could pack the paint on the Rockets and force them to be jump shooters. Finally, those are two weak free throw shooters that you would need on the court at the end of games.

I think the Rockets would be better off without Smith and Howard paired, you can find a better fit if you need to move Asik.

  1. Sherlock Sport - Jul 3, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Completely agree on Howard/Smith pairing. One of the things that makes Houston so attractive for Dwight is the spacing they have due to their shooters. Adding Dwight helps them enhance this threat. Adding Josh Smith pushes them to play a somewhat different style.

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      If you decide to trade Lin don’t call the Knicks.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      You’re right that the Rockets have good shooters. The Rockets were 8th in the NBA as a team in 3 pt shooting last year. Now they, like all the other teams that didn’t win want to improve.

      The Heat, Thunder and Spurs were 2nd, 3rd and 5th in 3 pt shooting as a team in the NBA last yr so the Rockets aren’t far from the top teams.

      As far as team field goal percentage goes, the Heat were number one last yr and the Spurs and the Thunder were tied for 2nd. It’s not surprising as these were the three best teams in the league last year. The Rockets were the 9th best team last yr so again they aren’t that far off.

      Dwight Howard has always shot a high percentage from the field. He was 14th in field goal percentage last yr individually. He’ll help any team he’s on in this respect.

      Josh Smith though isn’t a good shooter, not even a good 2 pt shooter. His career average is well below that of the Rockets team shooting percentage last year. He’ll only drag it down, though Dwight would off set his poor shooting.

      Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson and Omer Asik especially are all better shooters than Josh Smith.

      Josh Smith’s career 3 pt percentage is only .283%. He has done better the last three yrs though. Over the 3 past seasons, he’s averaged taking 155 3 pointers a season and he’s converting on .301724 percent of them or 30%.

      But Dwight and Josh are friends so if Dwight lands in Houston I’m sure he’ll push for Josh but having Josh Smith wouldn’t help the Rockets as much as people seem to think.

      • Sherlock Sport - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        Patrick Patterson was traded last season

  2. pmx8411 - Jul 3, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Beverly vs Lin for starting pg should be interesting

  3. somekat - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    they have no leverage, because both of these guys still have their “poison” years left on their contracts. Who is going to want to pay Asik 15 million next year? Anybody? If I’m an opposing GM, you’d have to give me picks to take either of these guys.

    I’ve seen Philly linked to Asik, not going to happen. They would blow their shot at getting 2 max contract players next year added to a young core for Asik? I could see them trading for a guy like Thomas Robinson, which would save Houston a few mil (a few 2’s for him?), but they are not going to pick up a contract for 15 mil for just about anyone at this point, let alone a role player like Asik

    I’m not saying they can’t trade them. I am saying they are going to have a tough time willing to find a team willing to take either of those contracts (they were called poison for a reason), and if they do, it will be lucky to get anything. If I’m taking one of those contract, I also want a first round pick. So Asik or Lin and a 1st for my 2nd. If I have the space I think about it

    • stayhigh_247 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      I think the phrase is Poison Pill, in reference to their contracts.

      • rohlo - Jul 3, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        the poison pill term was referred to if the bulls and knicks matched the offers to asik and lin..the rockets wouldnt make it where they had a poison pill themselves.. they gte more money in their 3rd years but not mindbogglin numbers….

    • houstonallday - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      Do ur research bro, the “poison pill” u refer to was for New York and Chicago…
      Houston is paying 8.3 evenly and if traded the team who get’s Lin or Asik would pay 8.3.
      Ur Welcome!

  4. lbroberts123 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Thomas Robinson has been traded to Portland, so Your Robinson scenario can’t play out.

  5. telergy - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    lol read between the lines…

    Where explicitly in that quote did he deny that they are trading Lin and Osik? “good fits” can be traded for better fits easily.

  6. htownred34 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    I don’t mind dumping asik for Milsap who is cheaper than smith and who I like better because he doesn’t jack up shots…

  7. tangledupinblue12 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I know Asik’s offensive numbers aren’t astounding or anything, but as a Bulls fan, it hurt to watch him go. His defensive and size are fantastic. I’ve never seen someone that tall and that white move so well. His length combined with Joakim Noah’s was like a 48-minute wall someone built in the paint.

    The poison pill year sucks — because Asik’s not worth $15 million a season — but still; pair him with Howard, and who’s going to want to go into the lane?

    • tangledupinblue12 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      *defense. Sorry; I write all my posts with my eyes closed on my iPad using only my elbows.

      • chicitybulls - Jul 3, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Have you seen this?

        http://www.nba.com/bulls/video/2013/07/02/20130702ROSEINTCUT7compmov-2528390?ls=iref:nbahpts

        Good interview. Maybe they’ll put it on this site….at some point.

  8. kb2408 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Be careful what you wish for. Josh and Dwight together in Houston has disaster written all over it. Who’s the veteran leader on that potential team? How’s the guy that serious up and says “I’ve won a title, follow me”? If it happens, I’m sure Dwight and Josh will have tons of fun playing together but will that translate into a title? Very unlikely. Even if Houston does pull it off, the Beard would still be the leader of that team and its best player.

    • rohlo - Jul 3, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      dont think anybody in houston is wishing to have smith paired with howard…

    • iceonmypinky85 - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      If I’m not mistaken if this Dwight goes to Houston, both Howard and Harden will have NBA finals experience. Don’t forget the phrase “Experience is the best teacher.”

  9. 00maltliquor - Jul 3, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Hey Morey, you know…you’re gonna have to clear up room for Dwight to get his buddy Josh……we can take Linsanity and Asik in a sign in trade to make things work for you. Jus puttin it out there buddy. Something to think about.

    • unxpexted1 - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Honestly, i’d have no problem with that. Especially since Lin thrived under D’antoni. And Asik does everything that Kobe and the Lakers wanted him to do. Be our Tyson Chandler. So i could dig it if it went through. Would just mean another guard that can’t play D :-/

  10. thatstinks - Jul 3, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Morey should just say these moves aren’t up to him . They are in Dwights court .

  11. bellerophon30 - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Is there any talk about Asik and Howard being able to possibly play together? It probably wouldn’t have to be for too many minutes, but Asik is good enough that it would be a waste to play him 12-15 minutes a game. At least he has a market though, for trades, I don’t see anyone else wanting to pay Lin that poison pill year.

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