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Trade Thursday: Trading for Omer Asik

Is Omer Asik a viable trade option for Dallas?

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

(manager's note: Let me remind you: these trade articles aren't saying the Mavericks should or shouldn't pursue the player being discussed, they're just showing how it might be done.)

All eyes are on the upcoming free agency and the likes of Luol DengTrevor Ariza,Marcin Gortat, and so on, but don't forget that the trade market could also provide some realistic chances to improve the roster. Over the years we've seen the Dallas Mavericks bring in plenty of names via trade -- Tyson ChandlerJerry StackhouseJason Kidd,Caron ButlerRaef LaFrentzJason Terry and so on.

According to our Hal Brown, Dallas could have as much as $39 million in cap space available to upgrade the roster. We'll look at potential trade targets and try to break down possible trade scenarios to bring them in.

Note: Because of the value uncertainty of draft picks, I will avoid using them in these trade scenarios, though I may make mention of them as a hurdle or not.

This week?

Omer Asik - 1 year - $8.375million Against Cap (Poison Pill - Pay $15mil overall)

Injuries, starting at playing power forward (for a small time), and backing up Dwight Howard hampered Omer Asik's season. He played in only 48 games (16 starts) and averaged only 20.2 minutes; yet, he was still able to prove he is one of the better defensive and rebounding centers in the league. He averaged  5.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and .8 blocks in his action.

Asik is in the final year of his deal and will most likely push for a trade to a team where he can be the starting center again after his one year demotion. In his lone season of being a starting center (2012-2013), he averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 82 games.

With the Houston Rockets looking to strike big in free agency again (ugh) with Carmelo Anthony and possibly LeBron James on the market, dumping the final season of Asik's deal could be in the plans to free up room to sign players.

Scenario One

Mavericks get Asik (~$8.4mil)

Rockets get Trade Exception (~$8.4mil)

With the Mavs excess cap room, absorbing Asik's salary shouldn't be an issue if they manage their finances properly.

Why would the Rockets do this? Simply to free up cap space. If they truly believe they have a chance to land a star or top tier player then they'll look to unload salary whenever possible. Also, netting a decently large trade exception could be useful for them in future trades. The Mavs could probably trade a future second round selection (doubt they would want to use a first rounder on Asik) to make it somewhat more appealing.

Scenario Two

Mavericks get Asik (~$8.4mil)

Rockets get Samuel Dalembert and Wayne Ellington (~$5.6mil)

Taking the difference in salaries shouldn't be an obstacle at all in this deal. If the Rockets aren't interested in Ellington, this trade can easily be a straight swap of Asik for Dalembert; the Mavs should be able to absorb the estimated five million difference.

Why would the Rockets do this? They add two potential rotation players to their roster. Dalembert can take over the backup duties Asik is leaving behind. Ellington's three point shooting could land him in the rotation, as he could spread the court for stars James Harden and Howard. Worst case for the Rockets is they can terminate Dalembert's non-fully guaranteed contract and free up additional cap space.

Scenario Three

Mavericks get Asik and Jeremy Lin (~$16.8mil)

Rockets get Dalembert, Ellington, and possibly Shawn Marion (S&T) ($5.6+mil)

It's obvious that Marion wants to end his career with a contender (if it's not with the Mavs), so he might feel Houston would be a good place for him to most likely end his career with. The Mavs could try to force Houston into including Donatas Motiejunas for taking on Lin's contract. Whether or not Marion is involved, the Mavs could possibly free up enough money to bring those two in.

Why would the Rockets do this? They dump not one, but two contracts and players they may feel they may be better off without. Again, we already know what Dalembert and Ellington could offer them (see scenario two). Now, why would they want Marion? Well, Houston wasn't exactly a great defensive team, so while Marion isn't the defender he once was, he could still give them some good minutes on the defensive end. Also, his ability to play power forward for stretches may also appeal to the Rockets, as they prefer to spread the court and due to Terrence Jones being the only power forward on the roster.

Why would the Mavericks do this? This could possibly be a latch ditch effort to land a center (if they strike on on the free agent market and on Tyson Chander and Larry Sanders). With their backs against the wall, they may feel they'd have no choice but to take on Lin. Positive is like Asik, Lin is in the final year of his poison pill contract. Bringing in Lin would most likely mean the end of Devin Harris in Dallas sadly. Though, paying $30mil for these two due to the poison pill contract could be a tough swallow.


With the Mavs need for a center, it's easy to fall in love with the thought of Asik anchoring the defense, but unlike Chandler and Sanders, he may not be the ideal fit for the Mavs as some think. While he is a great rebounder, post defender, and a good rim protector, he doesn't exactly blow you away with his athleticism and speed; both musts next to Dirk Nowitzki.

Also, if you were frustrated with Dalembert missing easy shots and dropping/fumbling passes, Asik isn't exactly an improvement in that area. Also, due to his lack of mobility, he isn't exactly a great pick-n-roll target; a big need in the Mavs offense.

But if the Mavs are inclined to bring in Asik, whether it be due to desperation or just belief he's the right piece, they will have a defensive presence who can rebound with the best of them. Also, he never missed a game prior to this season, so durability isn't a big concern (at the moment).

Again, with the Rockets looking to improve the team desperately (they did after all lose in the first round), they will look to rid of themselves of pieces that aren't fits, and Asik may be one of those pieces.

Finally, the major hurdle in this deal may not getting the players, money, and picks right but would these two Texas rivals actually try to help each other improve?