Despite the fact that the Sixers acquired Kentucky big-man Nerlens Noel on draft night, it appears like the Sixers could be a potential landing spot for one of the most underrated big men in the game according to CBS.
If the Rockets land Howard, Asik would become expendable. One potential destination that rival executives have identified is Philadelphia, where former Rockets executive Sam Hinkie is the Sixers’ new general manager.
Hinkie was part of the Houston front office that scored both Asik and Lin with backloaded offer sheets as restricted free agents last summer. If the Knicks (Lin) and Bulls (Asik) had chosen to match the respective offer sheets, they would’ve had to structure their deals with $15 million “balloon” payments in the third year.
Obviously any chances of the Sixers landing Asik depend on the Rockets signing Dwight Howard. To me, the chances that they sign Howard are pretty high, and the Rockets certainly seem to agree.
The Rockets are oozing with confidence that they will lure Howard from the Lakers, and are making contingency plans to construct the team around him.
“They already have him, if you talk to them,” one league source said.
So if that happens, Asik then becomes available and at the very least the Sixers will answer the phone and consider the offer for the 26 year-old out of Turkey. The question then becomes, does Asik hinder the Sixers chances of landing the number one pick to draft Andrew Wiggins? Or do the Sixers view Asik as a potential long-term piece that will take pressure off Noel in his first few seasons, and give them a valuable piece on the boards?
Asik was a former second round pick of the Blazers, who after a draft night trade to the Bulls, worked his way up through the NBA’s developmental league. Asik spent the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons as Joakim Noah’s backup, before signing a three-year 25 million dollar deal with the Houston Rockets prior to last season. In his first season with the Rockets, Asik posted career highs in both points per game (10.1) and rebounds per game (11.7).