NBA Trade Rumors: L.A Lakers Could Trade Pau Gasol for Houston Rockets' Omer Asik,
The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have the desire to trade for Houston Rockets center Omer Asik, though the lack of assets they have make them a long shot candidate for the serviceable big man, a reliable league source disclosed on Tuesday.
As the search for Asik's next team goes on, the Lakers have become the latest team that expressed interest in landing the seven-foot, defensive-oriented Asik.
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- NBA Trade Rumors: Houston Rockets ‘Close’ To Trading Omer Asik
Asik recently demanded the Rockets management to trade him as soon as possible after playing limited minutes in favor of starting center Dwight Howard. With the Turkish star reportedly not anymore happy in Houston, many ballclubs have shown their willingness to bring in Asik via trade. However, the Rockets have so far scared off teams with their stiff asking price for their center.
Asik averaged 5.0 points and 7.2 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game for the Rockets this season. Last year, he had a career year by averaging 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 block in 30 minutes per game.
The dramatic drop in his stats should not be a surprise, given that head coach Kevin McHale gave the bulk of the playing time to Howard at the center position while Asik's role increasingly diminished as the season progressed.
In Tuesday's morning shootaround, Asik admitted that he's frustrated about his current situation, but he's pretty much open to helping his team win. Still, that doesn't mean the Rockets will stop their search for a viable trade partner for the disgruntled center. There are at least four teams in the running for Asik, and the Lakers have become the latest suitor.
Making 'The Trade' Work
With Kobe Bryant still recovering from Achilles surgery, the Lakers are expected to see how the current roster meshes with the superstar's playing style upon his return. Bryant will assume his role as the leading scorer for the purple-and-gold, putting forward Pau Gasol back in his supporting role.
Gasol is in the last year of his current deal, and his stats (13.0 points and 10.7 rebounds) aren't encouraging numbers to gauge for an extension. If the Lakers are bold enough, they can trade Gasol for Asik right away.
Of course, the Gasol-Howard frontcourt combo didn't work well in Hollywood last year. Yet, it appears Gasol is the perfect power forward for Howard in the Rockets' offensive system, considering his solid touch from the perimeter. The Lakers, on the other hand, could get an intimidating inside force in Asik to bolster their defense.
Another trade scenario to explore for the Lakers is package that includes Chris Kaman, rookie Ryan Kelly and possibly second-round picks. The Rockets need to have a reliable backup center, and Kaman surely provides good numbers in limited playing time. At the same time, the Rockets will have a stretch-forward big man in Kelly, who can knock down jumpers from the outside.