The Atlanta Hawks are among the teams that are rumored to be in on Houston Rockets center Omer Asik. The question is whether or not there is anything to the rumors? Atlanta keeps popping up in various reports but it seems to be in some cases a situation where team execs or the media is playing matchmaker.
Most rumors center on Hawks power forward Paul Millsap who has played well this season and has a very nice contract for next. Millsap has shown a deft touch from the outside and looks like he'd be a great fit next to Dwight Howard. In return acquiring Asik would allow the Hawks to slide Al Horford to the power forward position on a more regular basis. Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling is the latest to make the Millsap for Asik suggestion.
Two sources said "it makes a lot of sense" for Asik to be traded to the Hawks for power forward Paul Millsap. In that scenario, Asik would slip into the starting center position in Atlanta alongside Al Horford, and Millsap would become the starting power forward in Houston next to Dwight Howard.
There are a couple of other things to consider. Asik is under contract through next season and his deal calls for a cap hit of just over $8 million which is a bargain. However, he is owed close to $15 million in real money. More so, Millsap has performed really well for the Hawks and is a bargain at $9.5 million. A defensive center is a real need for the Hawks but how much closer does it get them to a championship? Would the defensive improvement offset the offensive loss of Millsap?
If acquired by the Hawks it is possible that Asik could be flipped to another team for more assets but teams could be reluctant to trade for a player that they may or may not be able to keep beyond next season. The market for centers tends to be inflated and how much a guy like Asik is worth on the open market is a good debate.
Chris Sheridan tries to play matchmaker without including Millsap in the deal but personally I think it is a stretch unless the Rockets find a lot of value in Brooklyn's 2014 draft pick. The Rockets aren't desperate at this point and have no incentive to make a deal with Atlanta that doesn't net them Millsap.
Update: Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that Atlanta is among four teams seriously involved with the Rockets for Omer Asik:
With Rockets determined to make Omer Asik deal within 48 hours, Hawks, Celtics, Cavs, 76ers most serious suitors, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 18, 2013