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Report: Rockets confident they can trade Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik

Jun 4, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik

From the moment the Rockets signed Dwight Howard until the trade deadline, the Omer Asik trade saga went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and… You get the idea.

But through all the rumors and reports and discussions, Houston never found an acceptable deal.

Though Jeremy Lin didn’t come up in trade talks as often, there were at least a couple inquiries. No deal for him either.

If the Rockets have their eyes on LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Love or any other star who might – but probably won’t – be available this offseason, trading Asik and/or Lin is the simplest way to facilitate it.

Can Houston trade those two?

Jonathan Feigen of Ultimate Rockets:

According to an individual familiar with the Rockets’ plans, they are confident they would be able to move Lin and Asik’s contracts because unlike their failed efforts to trade Asik last season, they would be looking to clear cap room, rather than bring back rotation players with similar contracts .

Not asking for assets in return for Asik and Lin will help – there was a lot of grumbling about Houston’s asking price for Asik – but that might not be enough. Asik and Lin will each get paid $14,898,938 next season – a tough pill for a team to swallow if trading for them, even though their cap numbers ($8,374,646 each) are fairly reasonable.

Making the task tougher, Houston might have to narrow their pool of trade partners specifically to the team on the other end of a sign-and-trade. If they were focused on maximizing cap space this summer by trading Asik and Lin to any team that will take them, the Rockets wouldn’t decline Chandler Parsonsteam option. By doing that, they’re raising Parsons’ cap number from $964,750 to $2,875,130 when free agency begins – and it will only go up from there once Parsons signs.

Simply, Houston is not close to gaining enough cap space to sign one of its coveted stars. By declining Parsons’ option, the Rockets are moving even further from that goal.

Even if they trade Asik and Lin and take back no additional salary, they’d be projected to have just $14,321,273 in cap room. By comparison, here are the maximum starting salaries for their top target if each becomes a free agent this offseason:

  • LeBron: $20,659,633
  • Bosh: $20,659,633
  • Melo: $22,458,402
  • Nowitzki: $23,857,450

Unless the Rockets are aiming lower in the free-agent pool or have more up their sleeves – both of which are certainly possible – they’re not really gaining ground by trading Asik and Lin.

Unless it’s a sign-and-trade with Lin and Asik going out, which would allow the Rockets to take back a player with a higher salary than they could get with the aforementioned cap-room route. But the other team would have to accept paying Asik and nearly $15 million each next year. And we’re back to square one, where trading them in a worthwhile deal won’t be easy.

  1. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    1-Why do you speak of Nowitzki as if he’d play anywhere else?
    2-Lin’s not worth his cap hit, let alone his actual cost.
    3-Asik’s worth his cap hit, but HOUs gonna have to sweeten that deal quite a bit.

    • justtoldya - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      No rockets don’t have to be that desperate. They can always keep them and next season when the contract is up they can use the space to look at parsons or any other players. It’s not like these two cant help the team win games. I would be fine with keeping the two if we don’t get something good in return. I doubt the rockets look to just dump their salary.

      • beach305 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:53 AM

        We as fans always seem to overvalue players on our teams. The reality is that the Houston over paid for both players. Lin should be around 4 mil and Asik 9 mil.

    • kle123 - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      You’re such a hater. Why is Asik worth his contract? Lin has proven when given the keys to the team he can produce numbers.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:40 PM

        Asik’s a big competent C with an 8mil cap hit. That’s pretty much a bargain.
        Lin’s greatest value is in merchandising. Sorry if you see it otherwise.

      • savvybynature - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:30 AM

        I wouldn’t go as far as the other guy — Lin’s a nice player — but big men are more scarce and just command a higher salary.
        They are both good players, but Asik is much more valuable imo.

      • smoothaswilkes - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:05 AM

        Lin can’t start over Patrick Beverly. The only time Lin was “producing” was under D’Antoni, who made Kendall Marshall look like the most improved player this year. So, yeah, pretty sure Lin is not worth the 8 million he counts for on the cap or the 14 he’s actually gonna get.

        Asik is a defensive big man that’s not going to kill you on offense. Big men are scarce. PG’s like Lin are not.

      • bkbell3 - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:17 PM

        Smooth, Beverly starts over Lin first for defense and then because harden and Lin need the ball in their hands to be effective. Lin gives the second unit scoring and ball handling that Beverly does not do as well and he gives the first unit their only defender in the starting back court cause Harden is a ghost on defense. Lin put up some good numbers when Beverly was hurt and Lin hasn’t played much in his career up till the last 2 years and is working on his body and his game. I think he will become a very good starter in the future if he keeps working on himself.

  2. miamiHeatlesnotBeatles - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    Knicks have a chance 2 right their wrongs by bringing Linsanity back.

  3. yesser12 - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    Sadly some team will bail them out.

  4. justtoldya - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    these two guys are expiring contracts that can actually help a team unlike a guy like okofor who’s always injured. These two guys are also on the last yr of their contract so even if they keep the two once they are off they books the can use the money to decide if they want to sign parsons. The rockets are actually quite flexible even with these two contracts.

    • savvybynature - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:33 AM

      Unfortunately expiring contracts that are terrible hold more value in the tank-to-build culture of the NBA. Most teams taking on expirings are also hoping to land a good draft pick the following season, so good players are not a boon (unless they are injured).

  5. jerdogthompson - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    Best of luck with the poison pill contact.

    • rohlo - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:53 PM

      It was only a poison pill contract if bulls n knicks matched their offers. Their cap hit is only 8 million per player this upcoming year which is reasonable.did you read the article?????????

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:39 AM

        It is NOT just that…

        YES, the Cap Hit is ONLY 8 something million…

        But the team still has to PAY them $14.9 million…

        Cap is one number and the actual payment is something else…

        like you asked the guy, “did you read the article?????????”

        HERE, STRAIGHT from the article… and I QUOTE.

        “Asik and Lin will each get paid $14,898,938 next season – a tough pill for a team to swallow if trading for them, even though their cap numbers ($8,374,646 each) are fairly reasonable.”

        So, you see, their team must take into account MORE than just the cap hit…

        IF you read the article, you would have seen that…

      • xLith - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:28 AM

        You think that Morey really would’ve went hard at Asik and Lin if he was truly worried about the final year of the “poison pill” contract? Like stated above, if they don’t get moved it’s not a big deal.

      • spursareold - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        xLith – yes, because I don’t think he really saw Dwight as a real possibility then, having been traded to the Lakers. Morey didn’t sign Lin and Asik with the idea of being able to move them. He had already gotten his “superstar” in Harden.

  6. themagicfanguy - Jun 4, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    @eugene Sorry that you can’t understand the sport. Lin has been effective and produced consistently. I get that everybody loves to hate anyone who gets the attention Lin gets, but it’s getting ridiculous how blind people are.

    • spursareold - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      “Lin has been effective and produced consistently”

      That’s not exactly the superlatives you want to see describing a player making $15M next year.

    • unxpexted1 - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      i dont think lin every performed consistently. He’s as streaky as they come.

    • crazylegs4 - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:09 AM

      I like the concept of Jeremy Lin far more than the ballplayer. While Linsanity added excitement to the game, Lin’s ability to play the game is marginal. I like a good story but IMO the Lin story is on it’s way out. It’s what you do on the court that counts. I do not think Lin would be highly sought after if he were a free agent at any price. Good luck Morey! It’s not easy for you to leave this situation without being considered a Moron.

  7. savvybynature - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    First, James and Nowitzki aren’t going anywhere.
    Second, is Houston allowed to send cash or is that not permitted under the CBA?

    • bkbell3 - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      Savvy, you can send out only 3mil. per year either all at once or in smaller parts but the total per year can’t excede 3mil.

      • savvybynature - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:01 AM

        Thanks. I honestly didn’t know the rule (hope you’re right).
        If so, Asik could definitely be dealt straight up and Lin might be more palatable to another team with some cash and an incentive player going their way.

  8. jerdogthompson - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:49 AM

    Right on sportsfan, hard to even bring myself to making these troll statements qualified anymore by responding.


  9. au1978 - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    Oh great, I see the Lin fanatics are out in full force. I’ve been a Rockets fan for 30 years and have had my share of frustrations. But I’ll tell you that I’ve never been as frustrated as having to deal with the hyper-sensitive Lin apologists who flood local fan sites and think he can do no wrong and that any time he has a bad game it’s someone else’s fault. Not to mention, they’ve only been watching basketball for like 2.2 years. I actually think JLin is a decent player, but sometimes I wish Houston would trade him if only to get rid of his fan boys. Yeah, I know the drill, 800 thumbs downs now.

    • majorhavoc83 - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      I’ll preface this by saying I’m both a Knicks fan and a Lin fan. The very short story is that Lin is a very solid PG. He’s not a top 5 PG, and he might not even be a top 10 PG, but I’d have to take a few minutes and think through my list of top PGs currently active/playing. The core issue is that Lin is often at his best when he has the ball in his hands, but Harden also demands to have the ball in his hands. The two guys don’t make an effective team. Beverly is starting because he pairs up better with Harden plus he has a stronger defensive game (but Lin has the better offensive game).

      I think Lin would do well back in NY and I wouldn’t mind seeing him here. I think Lin is a far better PG option than Felton, that’s for sure. Too bad, NYK doesn’t have anything HOU needs (and Carmelo can basically do whatever he wants at this point).

      • au1978 - Jun 5, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        I agree with you completely. You obviously are a fan, not a fanatic. I think NYC was stupid as crap for letting Lin go.

  10. frankyvito - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:09 AM

    After giving the blueprint on the NBA version of the poison pill aren’t they afraid that someone will do tge same to them with Parsons?

    • spursareold - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Houston isn’t anywhere NEAR the tax jeopardy that both Chicago (Asik) and the NYK (Lin) were when those contracts were signed. They’d have to do a little planning, but they would match.

  11. drunkenjunk - Jun 5, 2014 at 1:22 AM

    Report: Daryl Morey is delusional. Seriously though why do you keep putting Dirk and Lebron in these articles? Neither of them are going to Houston, Dirk wont leave Dallas and if Lebron does leave it sure as hell won’t be for Houston.

  12. mannyicey - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:53 AM

    Jeremy Lin should be an Indiana Pacer next year. (And I’m not a Pacer fan.) But if the Pacers had a good enough PG, it really would have helped the entire effort. You don’t need the best PG, just a PG that’s better than George Hill.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 5, 2014 at 6:33 PM

      Hill is a combo guard who should be coming off the bench and your right on about them needing a point guard. Even a guy like mo Williams from Portland because of his out side shot and he is a decent point guard who would allow them to work inside out might be enough to get them over the hump and their defense is good enough to cover for him and he is cheap at 2mil per year. They don’t need a great point guard cause Stevenson can initiate the offense as can Paul George but they need those guys to do it less and be scorers more.

  13. jeffkx - Jun 5, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    I usually hate suggesting trades, but what about Jarrett Jack, Tristan Thompson and Alonzo Gee’s $3.25m non-guaranteed contract for Asik and Lin.

    Cavs would benefit by getting a starting C and dumping Jack.
    Houston would get a decent player in Thompson and clear about $6m in cap space (when they release Gee) and about $18.7m in actual real dollars. (Lin and Asik’s $30m vs. Thompson’s $5m + Jack’s $6.3m)

  14. johnheisman - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Asik has a good chance of being a Celtic. The Celtics have Bogans on a non guaranteed contract with some sort of trade exception that I don’t understand. The botton line is, Houston can send Asik to Boston for Bogans to meet the salary trade requirements and cut him, there may be more pieces but that is the basic structure if Houston wants to clear space. There should be no interest in Lin if I have a say (which I don’t).


  15. themagicfanguy - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Actually he has produced under D’antoni and McHale, but thanks for trying.

    Nobody is saying Lin is perfect, but he doesn’t deserve the snide comments from people who don’t pay attention. I’ve been watching ball for 30 years, that’s hardly casual.

  16. imakcds - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    I thought signing Dwight was the missing addition to a team built for a championship ….
    what happened????
    REALITY set in.

  17. cpcheung - Jun 5, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    If Lin and Asik are traded, Rockets will definitely follow the fate of Lakers and Knicks, unless Harden will change from a ballhog into a team player, but it is doubtful !

  18. ml98 - Jun 5, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    The Rockets’ desperation to land a super star says a whole lot about Howard’s inability to lead his team to a championship. Howard was brought in with the idea the was the missing link… Turns out, Howard is not the answer, and everyone saw this coming, except for Houston.

  19. dexterismyhero - Jun 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Actually the way Howard disappears sometimes he could qualify as a missing link.

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