NBA: Omer Asik traded to the New Orleans Pelicans; Are the Rockets making a run at LeBron or Anthony?

After having his name involved in numerous trade discussions over the last 2 years, Omer Asik has finally been traded.

The Houston Rockets have made an early mark before the NBA Draft. They have agreed to trade defensive specialist center Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans in a deal which gives the Rockets more salary-cap space to make a push for LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony in free agency.

In exchange for Asik, the Rockets will receive the Pelicans’ 2015 first-round draft pick, as first reported by USA Today reporter Sam Amick. The Rockets also will include $1.5 million in cash as part of the deal.

The Rockets will receive the pick from the Pelicans if it falls anywhere between picks 4 and 19, a source claimed.

Asik averaged 5.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for the Rockets in 2013-14 in 48 games played, mostly off the bench. As a starter in 2012-13, Asik scored 10.1 points and grabbed 11.7 rebounds per game and was widely considered as one of the best defensive big men in the NBA.

(Credit: olikellopas)

Omer Asik reacting to a call. (Credit: olikellopas)

What does this trade mean? It means the Rockets are in great shape to land one or even both of the two All-Stars set to hit free agency on July 1st.

The Omer Asik trade will become official after the NBA Draft because New Orleans owes its 2014 first-round pick to Philadelphia. League rules do not allow teams to trade future first-round picks in consecutive years, so the Pelicans must wait until the 2014 draft passes in order to trade their 2015 pick.

When the deal is official, the Rockets will have about $8.4 million in cap room. Look for them to trade Jeremy Lin, who has an identical salary, in a similar cap-clearing move in order to become realistic players for LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

Amick reports that a Lin trade is unlikely unless a major free agent does in fact have a strong interest in playing for Houston.

“But as I’ve reported, they have deals teed up [for Lin],” Amick wrote.

With Dwight Howard and James Harden, the Rockets have their own tempting version of a Big Three (assuming either James or Anthony were to join them).

The reality of the whole situation? It’s not realistic that LeBron goes to the Rockets. It won’t be about what the Rockets offer because even if they go all out, it would be about his personal decision. I personally think he will land either with Cavaliers or the Clippers.

Carmelo on the other hand is highly likely to come to the Rockets. He is in that stage of his career where he wants to see whats out there for him. For an exceptionally talented player to not have a NBA title to his name yet is a shame. He wants to win and I believe Houston would be a perfect fit with him playing alongside James Harden.

July 1st is going to be a VERY interesting day! All hell is going to break loose. What’s not to love?

I personally say Carmelo Anthony joining the Houston Rockets is a much higher chance than LeBron James joining the Houston Rockets.

Let the show begin!

 

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