Houston Rockets trade Omer Asik to New Orleans

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The NBA trade wheel is spinning, and its moving fast.

The Houston Rockets have traded center Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans for a 2015 first round draft pick.

Asik has just one year left on the three-year contract he signed with Houston two summers ago, before the Rockets traded for perennial all star center Dwight Howard, which relegated Asik to a back-up role.

This is the second NBA trade of the day involving teams looking to create some cap space for this summer, after the Dallas Mavericks agreed to send Jose Calderon, among others, to the New York Knicks in exchange for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton.

Asik, a noted defensive stopper, will form an excellent defensive front court tandem with Anthony Davis of the Pelicans.

Asik was ready to leave

In addition to making $15 million this season, Omer Asik will get something he's wanted desperately, ever since Dwight Howard first showed up in H-Town, playing time.

The 27-year-old asked to be traded last fall, because he didn't want to sit behind Howard all season, and for the remainder of his time with the Rockets.

The trade rumors persisted to the all star break, but an appropriate trade never materialized.

Asik averaged over 10 points and nearly 12 rebounds per game for Houston in the 2011-12 season, while starting all 82 games and leading the NBA in total rebounds.

He played in just 48 games last season with Houston, after the Howard acquisition. 

Melo Sweepstakes heating up

With the Rockets making the $15 Million salary dump, they are now in a position to make a run at a marquee free agent, and Carmelo Anthony will meet with the team once free agency officially begins on July 1.

Houston has been rumored to be a potential destination for Anthony since the middle of the season, when it was apparent that he would be opting out of the final year of his contract, and that the Rockets would be in position to make room for his contract by trading Asik.

>>The Top Five Destinations for Carmelo Anthony 

Anthony is also expected to meet with the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks.

The largest contract any of those three teams could offer Anthony, in a max deal would be for four years and roughly $96 million, while the Knicks could offer him five years and nearly $128 million.

NBA Draft
Houston Rockets
Dallas Mavericks
New York Knicks

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