On Wednesday afternoon, the New York Knicks grabbed the headlines with all their big moves, but somewhere in the burrows of the New Orleans Pelican practice facilities, Dell Demps sits quietly in his office, looking over the documents of the trade he just processed, rubbing his hands together like a sith lord with the same sheepish grin that you get when you finesse a genius one sided trade in your fantasy league. The Pelicans have agreed in principle to move their 2015 first round pick for The Rockets’s disgruntled defensive specialist. The trade will process after the draft tomorrow per league rules.
Asik had a really down year last year, averaging only 6 points and 7 boards a game after breaking out for a 10 ppg 11rpg campaign the year before.
Asik’s struggles last year can be directly traced to the Dwight Howard trade that made the defensive specialist a lot less important to the Rockets scheme.
The Pelicans have been looking for a player to team up with Anthony Davis. Asik, while only a complimentary piece on offense makes the front-line for N.O. very scary. The trade also allows Davis to move to his more natural Power Forward position. The leap that Davis made last season into a legit star seems even more impressive when you consider that for much of the season he was tasked to bang against much bigger bodies.
This seems to me like one of those trades that manages to evade the media attention, but will have a major impact on the upcoming season. If there is a comparison to be made, I’d venture to go with Ben Wallace being sent from Washington to Detroit. The Wallace trade was the beginning of a culture shift and an important piece to an eventual champion.
Time will tell if Asik’s presence will have a championship level impact, but the Pellies just got a good player. Asik, after his yearlong sabbatical to bench school, will be ready and hungry to show the city of New Orleans he can play this game at the highest level. It’s going to be great theatre to watch it all unfold. – Glass¤