Rockets Trade Asik to New Orleans, and So the Dominos Begin to Fall
If we learned anything from last summer's pursuit of Dwight Howard, it's that these things happen in stages.
Photo by Norma Gonzalez Goodbye, Omer.
It starts with a hope, a dream, and lots of time spent on ESPN's Trade Machine. Then, it continues with sportsbooks posting odds on the likelihood of success. It continues with the major outlets (basically, Adrian Wojnarowski and everyone else) reporting mutual interest between team and player.
And then the actual dominos begin to fall. Trades, transactions, moves.
Wednesday night, in 2014's version of the Great Chase for the Houston Rockets, the first domino fell. We say "goodbye" to Omer Asik.
This summer, for Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, it's all about finding the third big star to place alongside James Harden and Howard. LeBron James is the lotto ticket, Carmelo Anthony would be a good prize, and names like Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo hover around the margins.
These are the hopes and dreams.
Sportsbook.ag weighed in earlier in the week on LeBron James' and Carmelo Anthony's future whereabouts, and as of Wednesday night, here's what they said:
LEBRON JAMES - WHERE WILL HE PLAY 1ST GAME OF 2014/2015 NBA SEASON
Chicago Bulls +1500
Cleveland Cavaliers +450
Dallas Mavericks +3000
Houston Rockets +1000
Los Angeles Clippers +700
Los Angeles Lakers +2500
Miami Heat -600
New York Knicks +2000
CARMELO ANTHONY - WHERE WILL HE PLAY 1ST GAME OF 2014/2015 NBA SEASON
Boston Celtics +5000
Chicago Bulls -150
Dallas Mavericks +1000
Houston Rockets +500
Los Angeles Clippers +2500
Los Angeles Lakers +2000
Miami Heat +400
New York Knicks +160
So according to oddsmakers, the Rockets are moderate longshots to land either player, but the oddsmakers have been known to be wrong before. So along came the next step in the free agency chase process, the reports of mutual interest from "plugged in sources":
Sources: Carmelo Anthony will visit Houston, Dallas and Chicago once teams are allowed to meet with free agents on July 1— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 25, 2014
That's Carmelo's situation. In an ESPN Insider piece, Broussard said that LeBron James has five potential landing spots: Miami, Cleveland, Houston, New York, and Brooklyn. That's a surprising list considering that neither Chicago nor the Clippers are on there, as the Bulls have an attainable path to open up cap space to get James and the Clippers have one of James' closest friends playing point guard (Chris Paul).
So the Rockets are reportedly in the mix for both big names, and if you believe Broussard, there's a scenario where they could acquire both, assuming the Rockets are willing to part with James Harden in a sign-and-trade:
In any event, assuming the Rockets obtain the cap room to sign James or Anthony, the next step would be to give up star guard James Harden in a sign-and-trade for whichever superstar (James or Anthony) they don't sign as a free agent. Faced with the prospect of losing their superstars, both New York and Miami would be open to accepting Harden in a sign-and-trade.
Wow. I mean...seriously, wow.