Saturday morning fun time . . .
Houston has been trying to move Omer Asik and his ridiculous $15 million 2014-15 salary ($8.3 against the cap) since the day Dwight Howard left the Lakers for the Rockets. After stating they were looking for two first rounders in exchange for Asik, Houston abandoned its trade attempts in December when the best deal they reportedly had on the table for Asik was Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass and a future protected 1st rounder out of Boston. Despite the fact that Asik remains a more than serviceable defensive big man (a true center), the deals available to Houston are not likely to get better as the February 20 trade deadline approaches because of Asik's very expensive back-loaded contract.
Can the Magic offer a better deal and should they? Yes to both.
Houston gets a decent if overpaid (not as overpaid as Asik) big man who fits much better next to Dwight than Asik and can deliver a lot of post-season help and a floor general with playoff experience that still allows Lin to come off the bench and is owed minimum $$$ next year if waived. Both BBD and Jameer can blend relatively seamlessly into Houston because they obviously understand how to play with Dwight Howard better than most other players in the NBA. Houston gets a serious post-season lift and, if the Lakers' pick pans out, the two first rounders it was reportedly looking for.
The extra cost to Houston is Beverley and Smith, a 25 year-old PG with solid playmaking and defensive skills and a 23 year-old forward with decent two-way potential if given the minutes.
In Asik, the Magic get to put a solid, true center on the floor in 2014-15. Now, WHY should Magic do this when we already have a solid true center in the form of Nik Vucevic???
Because if the Magic were able to acquire Asik for 2014-15, it would allow them to package Vucevic (arguably their most valuable current trade asset) together with the WONK pick to move up for a top-8 1st round pick in this years draft. Even with the quality of this years draft, Boston, Philly and Milwaukee (and maybe even Sacramento though they have Cousins) would have to seriously consider trading even a 4-5-6 pick if both Vuc and the 12-15 were available. Vuc is too good and there are too many potential contributors in the 12-15 range to reject that deal out-of-hand.
Based on the current 2014 mock draft at DraftExpress, what would the Magic get if they successfully traded Vuc and the WONK for a number 5 - 8 pick under this scenario?
2014-15 Orlando Magic:
1st unit: C-Asik; PF - Harris; SF - Wiggins or Parker; SG - Afflalo; PG - Exum, Smart or Ennis
2nd unit: C-O'Quinn; PF - Nicholson, Smith; SF-Harkless; SG - Oladipo; PG - Beverly
I really, really like that team even if it comes at the expense of trading Vucevic. Asik is only 27 (same as Afflalo) and coming down in $$$ in 2015, Nik is only going up in $$$.