The Houston Rockets want to trade backup center Omer Asik before Dec. 19, and according to reports by the Houston Chronicle, they have a three-way deal in place. Houston is waiting until Thursday so it can field more, potentially better offers.
The Dec. 19 deadline would allow Asik and any other players involved in the trade to be traded again this season before the trade deadline if opportunities arise, as Mark Deeks noted this week. Players cannot be moved after being traded until they've been on the new roster for two months. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 20, 2014.
Asik didn't mesh with Kevin McHale's team while playing in a starting frontcourt alongside free agent acquisition Dwight Howard, and the emergence of power forward Terrence Jones has given the Rockets a power forward more able to stretch the floor offensively.
Kobe says Pau and D'Antoni are 'like an old couple'
Mike D'Antoni and Pau Gasol have gone back and forth before. The Los Angeles Lakers coach wishes Gasol could spread the floor and play within his offense. Gasol wants post touches and the offense to be run through him.
But Kobe Bryant isn't too concerned over the most recent disagreement between his teammate and coach, according to ESPN Los Angeles.
"That's every year. They're like an old couple," Bryant said dismissively Friday night, when tensions between Gasol and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni boiled over once again. "That's every year. It's not really anything new. It's not a big deal."
Bryant will be the force to bring his team together. He joked about Gasol's six turnovers after a win against the Charlotte Bobcats, but it also acted as a reminder to Gasol to put his differences with D'Antoni aside for the good of the team.
NBA suspends Leonard, Orton after scuffle
The league suspended Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard and Philadelphia 76ers big man Daniel Orton one game each without pay after they got into a altercation during garbage time on Saturday.
With Leonard attempting to get post position, the two got twisted up. After Leonard seemingly hooked Orton as they fell to the ground, Orton then swung an elbow and caught Leonard in the face. Here's a video of the incident.
Granger eyes Friday return, for real this time
Leading into last Friday, Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger expected himself to play. That idea was shot down by his coach a few days beforehand. Finally, coach Frank Vogel believes that Granger is ready to return from a calf strain that's kept him out of every game this year.
The Pacers are targeting Granger to be ready this Friday against the Houston Rockets. The previous expectation wasn't a setback, Granger said. Rather, it was about him jumping the gun about his comeback. With another week to practice, Granger believes he's back into decent shape and in a fine rhythm with his teammates.
If there aren't any setbacks, Indiana will have another dangerous scoring option.
Lakers call Knicks about Shumpert
Perhaps weighing the situation rather than expecting to get deep into trade talks, the Los Angeles Lakers gave the Knicks a call to assess New York's interest in trading combo guard Iman Shumpert. The third-year pro would be an intriguing option for the Lakers to fill a hole at point guard. Currently, Kobe Bryant has been forced to run the Los Angeles offense.
ESPN's Chris Broussard reported the Lakers' interest in Shumpert and also added Los Angeles would be willing to talk about a Pau Gasol for Tyson Chandler trade. While New York doesn't want to trade Chandler, it might have more interest if it could somehow convince Los Angeles to also take back guard J.R. Smith.
The Lakers probably won't want to do that since Smith's contract would impede on their salary cap the next two seasons.