Sports and Scores
 
NBA Basketball
Scoreboard|Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions

Rockets send Asik to Pels, prepare for LeBron run

(Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI

AP Basketball Writer

(AP) -- Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey has earned a reputation for being one of the most aggressive, think-big executives in the NBA. And it's impossible to think any bigger than LeBron James.

The Rockets took the first big step toward making a run at James by agreeing to trade Omer Asik and cash considerations to the New Orleans Pelicans for a protected future first-round draft pick, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday night. The person requested anonymity because the deal cannot be completed until July due to rules in the collective bargaining agreement and salary cap issues.

James informed the Miami Heat earlier this week that he is opting out of his contract and will become a free agent when the new league year begins on July 1. Carmelo Anthony did the same with the New York Knicks, meaning two of the most dynamic players in the league are available in the same summer.

Morey, whose Rockets were eliminated by the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs this season, wants to bring a third star to Houston to team with James Harden and Dwight Howard. To do that, Morey has to free up cap room by trading Asik, a disgruntled big man who requested a trade last season after Howard took his starting spot, and point guard Jeremy Lin to give him about $19 million to throw at James.

Many across the league expect James to remain in Miami, where Pat Riley is trying to retool a roster that won two championships and made four straight NBA Finals but was beaten decisively in five games by the San Antonio Spurs to end this season.

But Morey can offer James a younger roster with two supporting cast members who are much closer to their primes than Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

If they swing and miss on James, Morey is expected to turn his attention to Anthony, perhaps the game's best pure scorer. He could also look at trading for Minnesota All-Star Kevin Love, who can opt out of his contract next summer and has told the Timberwolves that he will not sign a long-term contract with the team.

If anyone wondered about Morey's willingness to go big again this summer after winning the Dwight Howard sweepstakes last year and trading for Harden in 2012, he answered that emphatically on less than 24 hours before the NBA draft was scheduled to be held on Thursday night. The Rockets also avoid having to pay Asik a $15 million balloon payment in the final year of his contract, but it will count just over $8.3 million against the Pelicans' cap next season.

But the Rockets aren't the only potential winners in this deal.

Getting Asik is a significant move for the Pelicans, who got one of the league's best interior defenders to pair with rising star Anthony Davis.

Asik only averaged just over 20 minutes per game in 48 games last season. But his unhappiness with his situation behind Howard and a few nagging injuries certainly played large roles in his relative lack of production. He averaged 5.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and shot 53 percent from the field last season. But in a starting role the previous season, Asik averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 boards and 1.1 blocks in all 82 games.

Asik will have a much more prominent role in New Orleans next season, and his presence should allow the super-athletic, ultra-instinctual Davis even more freedom to roam on the defensive end and create havoc for opposing pick-and-roll tandems.

New Orleans has missed the playoffs for three straight seasons, and GM Dell Demps didn't hesitate to give up a first-round pick to acquire a big building block that will make life easier for Davis and help the Pelicans try to make a jump in the powerful Western Conference.

Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

Updated June 25, 2014

? © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Audio On Demand

Patriots tame Lions - Res…

Patriots tame Lions - Response and Reaction - The Real Postgame Show

Fred Smerlas, Steve DeOssie and Butch Stearns break down all aspects of the Patriots win over the Lions, and take your calls as well.

It Is What It Is Cast: Defense steps up again as Patriots crush Lions

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots' 34-9 win over the Lions, the team's seventh win in a row. The defense stepped up again and now gets a crack at Aaron Rodgers next Sunday.

NFL Sunday: Final thoughts and predictions for Pats/Lions

The guys give their final thoughts and predictions leading up to the 1pm matchup with Detroit.

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Mar…

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Marcus Smart injury 11-12-14

How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...

WHDW - Greg Dickerson Joins the Show to talk Celtics

Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.

Kyle Draper, Comcast Sports New England, Celtics will compete for a playoff spot this season

Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston

Brian MacPherson, Provide…

Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal

Red Sox beat writer Brian MacPherson joins Danny Picard to talk about the Red Sox going after Jon Lester and other free agents.

Hot Stove Show 11-20-14

The Hot Stove guys are talking about Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester's contract offers from the Red Sox. They then por one out for the Giancarlo Stanton rumors being put to bed.

Hot Stove Show 11-13-14

The Hot Stove boys are back again, talking about Jon Lester, Pablo Sandoval, Giancarlo Stanton's b

NESN's Jack Edwards with …

NESN's Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

Dale and Michael get Jack Edwards' 'state of the B' report and talk about the win over the Blues at the Garden on Tuesday.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins 2-0 win over St. Louis, 11-19-14

Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports. NHL should have a coach's challenge 11-13-14

Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins struggles, the NHL franchise in Las Vegas, and the return of the glow puck!

Boston College Steve Adda…

Boston College Steve Addazio on Florida State 11-21-14

BC's head coach joined the show to preview the Florida State game.

Rodney Harrison on Gronk 11-21-14

Rodney Harrison previewed the Patriots and Lions with the guys.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: President Obama's new immigration policy 11-21-14

The top stories of the as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Christian's Dad, Detectiv…

Christian's Dad, Detective Fauria tales for VICE squad 11-21-14

Detective Fauria tells us the infamous gloryhole story from VICE squad and other stories Christian's past.

Kyle Arrington previews Pats-Lions 11-21-14

Just out of practice, Kyle Arrington joins the guys to preview Pats-Lions

Christian Fauria prank calls Detroit sports radio 97.1 The Ticket; praises nephew Joseph Fauria 11-21-14

Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station 97.1 The Ticket's Stoney and Bill show . Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.

Michael Irvin: Bill Belic…

Michael Irvin: Bill Belichick manages people as well as he manages X's and O's

We check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin for his weekly update on all things NFL. We talk to Michael about the Raiders first win, the LeGarrette Blount saga, and how the Pats will do against the Lions this weekend.

Great week turns sour for Jonas Gray as he reportedly gets sent home for being late to practice

Michael and Dale discuss Jonas Gray's tardiness, and try and predict how the running-back will respond and make up for his error.

Which Patriots team do the 2014 Patriots remind you most of?

We talk with Tom E Curran and debate whether or not the Patriots current performance is more reminiscent of the 2004 or 2007 Patriots.

Brandon Alisoglu gives us…

Brandon Alisoglu gives us an analysis of the Lions

Brandon covers the NFL, particularly the Detroit Lions for Bleacher Report. He gives us his thoughts on this Sunday's game and how the Lions stack up against the Patriots.

Cold, Hard Football Talk

Mikey, Villani, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are talking Patriots-Lions and how the team this year stacks up to Patriots teams of the past.

Wonderin' Why the Lions Suck

Some more Musical Mikey Magic to get ready for Sunday's Patriots-Lions game.

UnSportsManLike Podcast -…

UnSportsManLike Podcast - 30 for 30 Ideas 11-21-14

Jerry Thornton's first podcast explores sports stories that would make for interesting 30 for 30 documentaries.

College Puckcast with Andy Merritt and Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy

Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal joined WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin to talk about the play of Vermont and Providence, as well as other happenings around Hockey East. Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also joined the show to talk about his team’s good start, his freshman class and how he uses possession stats.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Mike Mutnansky Talks Hated Players and Rajon Rondo.

Joining the show today Mut the all-purpose back of WEEI. We talk about players we have hated over the years as well as Rajon Rondo and what is ailing the Celtics.

Michael Irvin: Bill Belic…

Michael Irvin: Bill Belichick manages people as well as he manages X's and O's

We check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin for his weekly update on all things NFL. We talk to Michael about the Raiders first win, the LeGarrette Blount saga, and how the Pats will do against the Lions this weekend.

More from this show

Christian Fauria prank ca…

Christian Fauria prank calls Detroit sports radio WDFN; praises nephew Joseph Fauria

Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station WDFN's Shep in the Morning Show. Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.

More from this show

Danny PIcard previews Pat…

Danny PIcard previews Patriots-Lions, 11-22-14

Danny opens the show on Saturday afternoon looking at Sunday's matchup against the Detroit Lions. The Pats added former RB LeGarrette Blount to the line up. Calvin Johnson brings up an interesting match up for the DB's. Jonas Gray showed up late on Friday. And could Reggie Bush be tough for the LB's to cover?

More from this show

Adam Schefter: I'm pickin…

Adam Schefter: I'm picking Detriot 11-21-14

Adam Schefter joins the guys to give his prediction for Pats-Lions, talks about the snow in Buffalo, and the Adrian Peterson saga.

More from this show

Great week turns sour for…

Great week turns sour for Jonas Gray as he reportedly gets sent home for being late to practice

Michael and Dale discuss Jonas Gray's tardiness, and try and predict how the running-back will respond and make up for his error.

More from this show

Weei Writers