The trade market for Houston Rockets center Omer Asik is cooling off, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. Thanks to the Gilbert Arenas provision, the center signed a three-year, $25 million contract in the summer of 2012, in which he is paid $5 million the first two years and $15 million in the third year.
While paying $5 million for Asik's services seems like quite the steal, $15 million for the third year is a pricey pill to swallow for any team considering to trade for the big man.
"It is a tough sell to bring something like that to your owner," one league executive said. "You have got to tell him, ‘We’re getting a pretty good player, an $8 million player. Oh, but we have to pay him $15 million. We will be giving him LeBron (James) money. That’s OK, right?’ That’s not really a conversation you want to have."
Trade rumors -- and the presence of Dwight Howard -- have hurt Asik's on-court value; the fourth-year big man has appeared in just 17 of Houston's 39 games this year, after starting all 82 regular season games last season. Playing just 18.3 minutes a night, Asik is averaging 4.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, two figures well below last season's breakout averages as a starter.
Rockets guard Jeremy Lin hasn't been in as many trade rumors as Asik, but has interest around the league and was signed in the summer of 2012 to a contract identical to his Turkish teammate.
According to Deveney, however, the Rockets "probably would not want to trade Lin" even with the "balloon payment." The fourth-year guard is averaging career-highs in shooting and three-point percentage and has thrived both as a sixth man and as a starting point guard in the injured Patrick Beverley's absence.