3 in the Key with John Gonzalez & Marshall Harris
Omer Asik started all 82 games for the Rockets last season and averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds. (USA Today Images)
Admit it. When the rumor hit about the Sixers possibly being a landing spot for disgruntled Rockets center Omer Asik, you gave the ESPN Trade Machine a thorough workout.
No need. This one worked out perfectly.
According to the always-plugged in Marc Stein, the Rockets are talking to “multiple” teams about dealing Asik, but the Sixers “seems” to be the most “viable” landing spot for the Turkish big man.
From Stein: "Keep your eye on Philadelphia. Front-runner would be overstating it, but the notion that the Sixers are a viable destination for Asik is increasingly making the rounds. And that certainly makes sense given (A) Philly’s front office is run by a certified Asik fan, former Rockets exec Sam Hinkie; (B) Philly has a frontcourt player to send back to Houston, in Thaddeus Young) whose skill set can click with Dwight Howard’s, albeit not as well as seemingly unattainable dream target Ryan Anderson; and (C) there really isn’t an Asik for Philly to draft with the high pick it’s likely to snag in the 2014 lottery."
Thad Young has drawn plenty of interest from other teams, according to a league source, and appears to be the most coveted player from the Sixers’ roster. Though Young has two years remaining on his contract worth $9.4 million next season and $9.9 million in 2015-16, this has not been a deterrent. Unlike Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, trade candidates who could be unrestricted free agents this summer, Young is a controllable asset.
Young also has the ability to blend into any playing style or system and says he is a “coach’s dream.”
“I’m coachable,” Young said during a conversation last week. “Maybe too coachable.”
At some point, lottery pick Nerlens Noel will step onto the court and become the center the Sixers were hoping to get when they traded for Andrew Bynum before the start of last season.
For now, there is no timeline on a return for Noel, though the center looked pretty agile in a recent Reebok commercial.
Unfortunately for the Sixers, Bynum never showed off such agility in a television commercial or in practice.
Lately, Bynum has shown glimpses of his former All-Star form for the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a slow start where he skipped back-to-backs and kept his minutes down, Bynum has been very productive.
In his last five games, Bynum has appeared in two back-to-backs, and he has two double-doubles in his last four games. His Cavs have won three of four.
In a 97-93 victory over Chicago on Nov. 30, Bynum had 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting with 10 rebounds, three assists and five blocks. He had 20 points and 13 rebounds in a loss in Atlanta and 18 points and six boards in an upset victory over the Clippers.
Over that four-game streak, Bynum averaged 18 points on 31-for-52 shooting with 36 rebounds, eight blocks and 15 trips to the foul line.
According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the Cavaliers still are trying to limit Bynum’s minutes, but it’s becoming more difficult. It’s especially difficult when Bynum shoos away substitutes.
Yes, for the 9,732nd time, what might have been ...