Now Asik wants out. Doesn't want to be a backup again:
Omer Asik, the Houston Rockets resident starting center, may want out with Dwight Howard reportedly choosing to join the team in free agency.
Asik has no interest of being Howard's backup or playing next to him, a source close to Asik told ESPN.com. It is not yet clear if Asik will demand a trade.
The Rockets may be able to use Asik as part of potential sign-and-trade scenarios. It is possible they could engage the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign-and-trade for Howard if the Lakers want to avoid losing their star center for nothing in return.
It is also possible the Rockets will look to engage the Atlanta Hawks in a sign-and-trade deal for free agent Josh Smith. The Hawks are open to making a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets for Smith, league sources said. Smith and Howard played together on summer teams as teenagers and have talked in the past about becoming teammates in the NBA.
Asik, a quality defender who averaged career highs in points (10.1), rebounds (11.7) and blocks (2.72) while starting all 82 games for Houston last season, has a complicated contract that could become a challenge in a trade.
His official salary-cap number for this season and next is $8.3 million because of an arcane measure the Rockets used to sign him away from the Chicago Bulls last year he is actually owed more than $20 million over the next two seasons. His salary in 2014-15 is guaranteed at $15 million. It is possible this could be a stumbling block in trade talks.