While the Sixers are sure to be engulfed in rumors come the February 20th trade deadline, Philadelphia has now been placed at the forefront of a deal likely to happen rather soon.
Since Houston's offseason acquisition of Dwight Howard, Omer Asik, now relegated to a backup role, has made his desire for a trade rather clear. The Rockets initially balked at his trade demands but have now opened up, and multiple reports site that Daryl Morey would like to move the Turkish big man in the next 10 days.
Enter Philadelphia, says ESPN's Marc 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.
Stein also goes on to mention Houston's inclination to move the 27 year-old to an Eastern Conference team.
To me, this seems more like league speculation due to a former relationship than it does a concrete trade. Just because Hinkie and Morey used to work together doesn't mean they'll call each other when trying to make a move, especially if it's not a fit for either side.
In this case, I don't see a great long term fit.
While Thaddeus Young would be just about as perfect of a player for Houston to plug into the starting power forward deal, there's not much benefit to getting rid of an integral part of their team for Asik. Financially, the only long term benefit would be to rid themselves of Thad's long deal, which still has three years on it, while Asik has just two years.
The on court fit is where things begin to unravel. While Spencer Hawes and Omer Asik could be rather compatible, Nerlens Noel's eventual return to action next season would clog the paint. Asik and Noel are to similar style players: solid defensive players with limited offensive game (although Noel's has upside).
If this deal somehow comes about, I could only see the Sixers doing it to take back Asik as a rental, then move him this summer when he becomes a sexy, expiring contract.
And if Hinkie is coming from the brain trust in Houston that used Rafer Alston to get James Harden, then I suppose anything is possible.