If you haven’t heard, Dwight Howard will likely be heading to the Houston Rockets. This is a huge domino to fall in NBA free agency, and should start a cascade of moves here in the next few weeks (Follow along at our Rockets blog Space City Scoop for more Dwight coverage). One of those players who will likely be on the move is last year’s Rockets center, Omer Asik. Asik, who will make a little over $8.3 million this season, is one of the best overall defensive centers in the league, and has made it clear that he wants no part of playing alongside, or behind, Dwight Howard this season. Since Houston still is looking for talent to pair with Howard, James Harden, and Chandler Parsons, Asik should be on the move within the next few days.
Could the Cavaliers be a potential suitor for Asik’s services? Possibly. Lots of speculation has been put into Asik moving either the Atlanta Hawks or New Orleans Pelicans, in scenarios where the Rockets would get back either Josh Smith or Ryan Anderson, respectively. However, no rumor has any standing to it yet, and the Cavaliers could be a very attractive destination to Asik. The Cavs would likely have to dip into their future pick reserves to get him, as well as send away one player, who I could see being either Tristan Thompson or Anderson Varejao. Varejao makes more sense as a potential starter for the Rockets, and the salaries match there, but Thompson is younger and cheaper. Likely, the package would have to be something like Varejao, the Sacramento pick, and one of the Portland 2nd-round picks to land Asik.
As for Asik’s fit in Cleveland, it would be something that makes a lot of sense. Asik brings rim-protection, defense, and rebounding to the table, all things the Cavs could really use. Asik can’t score at all, but that shouldn’t matter on a team with Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and Anthony Bennett. Spacing would be an issue if you played Asik and Thompson together, but Asik and Bennett compliment each other really nicely, and that’s a more solid pairing in the frontcourt going forward for Cleveland. This is all speculation, of course, but I’d really like to see Omer Asik get some attention from the Cleveland Cavaliers.