Pelicans Acquire Center Omer Asik In Trade With Rockets
The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed in principle to a deal with the Houston Rockets that will send Center Omer Asik and $1.5 million to the Pelicans in exchange for a 2015 top 3 protected 1rst round pick. If the draft pick lands between 4-19, it will go to Houston, according to a report from espn.com's Brian Windhorst.
Asik will be a great frontcourt mate to All-Star Anthony Davis. New Orleans now has an elite rebounder. A season ago, he sported the third best rebounding rate in the league, pulling down roughtly 30% of every defensive rebound when he was on the floor. Speaking of defense, Asik is a top tier rim protector and is widely considered one of the best defensive centers in the league.
Offensively, Asik's game is below average. Poor hands and a below average turnover rate are areas he needs to improve.
At 27 years old, Asik will enter his 5th season out of Turkey. The 2014-15 season marks the last year of his contract, which will pay him $15 million, though he'll only count $8.3 million against the cap.
New Orleans will also own "Bird Rights" when it comes to Asik's contract negotiations next Summer, meaning they can exceed the salary cap to keep Asik. Bottom line, if New Orleans wants to keep him around, they'll have the negotiating flexibility to do so.
Due to league rules, the deal cannot be finalized until after the draft.
Pelicans general manager Dell Demps is rumored to be in trade talks with several teams regarding tonight's draft. Asik is the first deal for Dell this offseason. Likely the first of many.