Despite the NBA trade deadline being over two months away, the rumor wire has been buzzing for quite some time now. Teams are beginning to inquire about other players who could make an impact on their playoff hopes or teams are attempting to clear some cap space. We’ve already seen one major trade take place this week as the Sacramento Kings, desperate for some star power, acquired Rudy Gay from the Toronto Raptors, which gave Toronto more financial flexibility moving forward.
Could we see another big trade taking place, but this time involving the Sixers?
Reports have surfaced over the last few weeks that have named the Philadelphia 76ers as the most likely landing spot for the disgruntled Rockets’ center Omer Asik.
The Houston Rockets signed the former Bulls backup center to a three year $25 million deal two summers ago. Asik would go on to have a career year last season averaging ten points and eleven rebounds.
Things quickly changed for Asik when Houston signed Dwight Howard to be their franchise center this offseason. Head coach Kevin McHale had planned on playing Howard and Asik together in the starting lineup, but that strategy failed due to spacing issues on the court.
Asik had requested a trade when the signing became official, but Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey denied his request.
Morey’s stance has since changed over the last few weeks as Houston is shopping the 27 year-old hard. Sources have said that Houston is looking for an impact player and first round picks in return.
A recently rumored trade has the Sixers sending Thaddeus Young to Houston for Omer Asik. This is not the first time a Young/Asik trade rumor has been mentioned as this idea was thrown around just prior to the start of the season, but it has just recently picked up steam.
Executives believe that 76ers’ GM Sam Hinkie will acquire the center’s services at the trade deadline due to his connection and fondness of the big man since he was a part of the front office that helped bring him to Houston.
There is also a belief that this trade would help satisfy needs for both teams, but is this really the case? Would trading Thad Young for Omer Asik be a good idea and help this team moving forward?
In limited minutes this year, Omer Asik is averaging four points and seven rebounds per game, which is right around his career average. Keep in mind that his career averages are based almost purely on his production as a back up. We saw last season what Asik is capable of when he is given ample playing time. He also shot 54% from the field to go along with his ten points and eleven rebounds last season.
If the Sixers were to acquire Asik, the team would be on the hook for the remainder of his contract. Asik is set to make $5 million this year and nearly $15 next season.
There are two problems for the Sixers if they were to make this trade.
The first is that the team already has a center in Spencer Hawes, who is having a career year. Asik wants out of Houston because he is not the starting center so bringing him to Philadelphia with a starting center in place is not an ideal situation for him or the team. Head coach Brett Brown could try to play the two together with Hawes manning the four spot, but there would certainly be spacing issues along with a weaker offense.
As a result, Asik would most likely become the back up center for the Sixers and the team would be responsible to pay him $15 million to come off the bench, which is a huge mistake. Also, the Sixers will have Nerlens Noel back next year and he will certainly be the starting center moving forward.
In contrast, Thaddeus Young is and will be a much better fit for this team as they move forward.
The seven year veteran has been one of the Sixers’ most consistent players since being drafted in 2007. This season Young has moved to the power forward position full time and has been great on both ends of the court. Thad is averaging sixteen points per game to go along with seven rebounds per night. On the defensive end, Young has held his own against bigger players and adds another quick, athletic defender to the Sixers line up.
Let’s also not forget that Thaddeus Young is the leader of the team and a fan favorite. Night in and night out, Young gives 110% on every play which fans have loved about him from day one. It would be hard to trade Young for just a backup center with a bad contract.
From a financial standpoint, Thad has a team friendly contract and is owed $18 million over the next two years, slightly more than the $14 million owed to Asik. Given his production and friendly contract, Young is a great player to keep around moving forward.
The Sixers and Rockets may match up perfectly on paper for a trade, but when it’s broken down, it doesn’t make much sense for the Sixers. Young is a far better player than Asik and Asik does not fill any of the team’s needs moving forward.
If Daryl Morey decides to give his old friend Sam Hinkie a call to talk about Asik for Young, Hinkie should respectfully decline.