An assessment of the Omer Asik rumor or JUST LET THIS SEASON BE!

Over the weekend, ESPN’s Marc Stein threw some more kindling on the quietly burning rumors that linked Houston’s very available big man, Omer Asik and the Milwaukee Bucks. After assessing the Philadelphia 76ers and their chances, he moved on to some other contenders:

Better, then, to send him somewhere Dwight would have to face the Turk as infrequently as possible. Atlanta and Milwaukee are thus two more teams to monitor, with the Rockets undoubtedly drawn to Paul Millsap and his cap-friendly contract — though the reality is you can say the same about a ton of teams — and what has been described to me as the strong possibility that the Bucks are about to get active on the trade front in the wake of such a poor start.

This is equal parts intriguing and terrifying.

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

What’s intriguing about a Bucks trade?

Trades! Everyone loves a trade. The thought of new faces and the prospect of how those faces could fit in Milwaukee — not only this year but also going forward — is always intriguing. You, me, everyone else who writes at Bucksketball, we feast on trade rumors with the enthusiasm of an overweight man coming off a diet on Thanksgiving digging into his stuffing.

What’s terrifying about a Bucks trade?

PANIC TRADES! This line is what scares me: … strong possibility that the Bucks are about to get active on the trade front in the wake of such a poor start.

That reeks of, “we want to get better this season.” To which I would reply, WHY!? WHY FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS, WHY!? What is wrong with having a bad season, just this one time? JUST LIVE WITH IT, ENJOY THE SWEET, SWEET FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR AND MOVE ON.

If I so much as see my arch nemesis Khris Middleton peddled in a package for another Monta/Jefferson/Jackson/Maggettte cast off, I will shut this blog down, turn the car around and head home. One of the best days of my last month was Sunday. Rudy Gay was traded to the Sacramento Kings, meaning Milwaukee couldn’t give away anything of value to grab him and make a run at driving me further insane.

Maybe the Asik deal wouldn’t be the one where the Bucks gave away some sort of asset, but there’s always a possibility that Milwaukee is going to break my heart with some short-sighted thinking and an attempt to save a lost season just because the Eastern Conference is a mess. WILL SOMEONE IN THIS STUPID CONFERENCE WIN SOME GAMES SO THE BUCKS CAN ABANDON ALL HOPE!?

What could Asik do for the Bucks?

Milwaukee hasn’t been able to do a few things this season. Chief among those few things have been struggles to rebound the ball on the defensive end and guard centers who look to score. These are strengths for Asik. Asik was second in the league last season in defensive rebound percentage.

In 5.2 attempts per game at the rim against Asik this season, opponents are shooting just 43.2%. In contrast, opponents are shooting 52.5% against Ersan Ilyasova, 52.4% against Zaza Pachulia and 40.8% against John Henson. While Henson has had more success than ever before as a defender this season, he’s struggled recently playing out of position against bulkier centers. And even in this season, a down year for Asik, his defensive rebound percentage of 28.1% is far superior to Henson’s 22.1%.

A front line of Asik and Henson seems stout defensively, but also seems like it would lose traction when Larry Sanders returns from his thumb injury either in late December or very early January. Milwaukee would have to do some juggling, yet avoid upsetting Asik, who reacted quite negatively when he was dropped from Houston’s starting lineup earlier this season.

What would Milwaukee have to give up?

Probably a little bit. Most often, Ilyasova’s name is mentioned in rumors around Asik, as he would give the Rockets a shooter at the power forward position that they are said to covet. In addition, Milwaukee has two second round picks in the upcoming draft. Asik’s cap hit next season is $8.4 million, though he’ll actually be paid roughly $15 million because of some bizarre accounting that took place when Houston signed him. In theory though, I believe Ilyasova for Asik works straight up, but I’m not sure the Rockets would be into that.

Would this interfere with our dreams of a top pick in next year’s draft?

It all depends on what the Bucks surrender. Losing Ilyasova and gaining Asik would make the Bucks better this season, thanks to Ilyasova’s poor play and poor fit with this current group of teammates. Asik would seem to be a considerable defensive upgrade for a team currently ranked 24 in defensive rating.

But he doesn’t contribute too much on the other end and certainly wouldn’t take Milwaukee’s putrid offense anywhere it hasn’t been already. Plus, losing the threat of Ilyasova may contribute negatively on offense too, though the Bucks have actually been better on offense with Ersan on the bench this season.

Overall, if it were just an Ilyasova and picks for Asik thing, I’d say that wouldn’t be much of an obstacle for this offense to overcome to continue to lose games. That’s a weird sentence.

Does trading picks or young players for a guy like Asik to save a season like this make a ton of sense?

No.

But, you know the motto.

Categories: Trade Rumors

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in…

37 Comments

  1. I mentioned to a friend that if the Bucks traded for Rudy Gay this season that I’d quit being a Bucks fan until Kohl sold the team.

    Trading assets for a defense minded center, when they already have a defense minded center getting paid a lot of money, so that they can get swept by Indiana/Miami instead of drafting high in the best draft of the decade might rise to the same level.

    I said it in a post a few articles ago. I live in fear of the panic trade.

  2. I’ve heard about this trade, and Ilyasova for Asik straight up seems like the deal most talked about. It makes perfect sense for Houston, getting rid of their disgruntled big while bringing in the stretch four they desperately need who can also rebound the basketball, and have his defense somewhat made up for with Howard.

    For us, on the other hand? I’m not seeing it. Granted, Sanders has been willing (and preferred at one point) to come off the bench in Milwaukee. But that doesn’t really change the fact that we’ll have two elite defensive centers and not enough minutes to go around.

    I had one person actually mention the possibility of playing them together with Sanders at the 4, which I immediately scoffed at. Granted, this would give Knight/Mayo/Neal the ability to chuck at their leisure while Asik/Sanders gobble up offensive boards for potential putbacks, but in a half court offense, the duo would be a disaster.

    Unless we plan on using Asik as some sort of rental for the season, or we might very well be trying to trade Sanders down the line. I don’t mind getting rid of Ilyasova at this point, but we better not include any other young assets.

    • I can’t use the trade machine right now, but I wonder about Pachulia, Ilyasova, and Ridnour for Asik, Jones, and Beverley. I don’t think HOU would be willing to swing this trade, but I sure like it for the future of the Bucks.

      • Dollars wouldn’t work I think. Can’t put Zaza into a trade until Sunday, but I subbed in Udoh(who makes less) and it was still too much incoming money for the Rockets.

      • That would be a very beneficial deal for the Bucks, but there’s no way Houston is giving up Beverley at this point, and Jones has been a bright spot for them recently as well. Beverley is a two-way guard, something Houston desperately needs.

        I could see them going for Zaza, but his contract isn’t too savvy, and his injuries will be a major concern going forward. He would be an excellent backup for Dwight, but again, health will screw us here.

  3. Last night, I saw “Rudy Gay Traded” on the side of Sportscenter, and I sat there in abject terror for the three minutes it took for them to get to that segment. Big, BIG sigh of relief when it turned out he landed in Sacramento.

    I understand ownership wants to be competitive, and as horrendous as the Eastern conference is, a couple breaks would make that happen. But does it not say more that, even though the East is so bad, the Bucks without Larry are THE WORST TEAM IN IT BY A FAIRLY DECENT MARGIN?!?!

    And that the smart fans are totally okay with this?

    I just. Don’t. Get it.

    • I dont think anyone is “totally okay” with what’s happening here, especially the smart fans. But what’s the alternative right now? If you want the team to end up with a high draft pick, then they’re on the right path. If you’re dying for the team to be competitive, well, tough luck. It would take a nigh-impossible sequence of events/trades/miracles for the team to contend this year. And that’s just where they are. Is it better to resign ourselves to a lost year and throw ourselves on the mercy of the lottery? Maybe. And maybe there aren’t a lot of other options. If we want the team to be bad for draft reasons, at least being overwhelmingly bad doesn’t leave any room for doubt.

      And yes, it sucks that the team has turned out to be this bad after the sequence of events this offseason. But considering the injuries that have already decimated the team, it’s at least explainable. There’s not really anywhere to go but up, especially when Sanders gets healthy and reintegrates into the defense.

  4. I’m terrified of the Bucks making some win now trade as well. It’s pretty important we go 0-4 this week and sit at 4-20 on the day Asik can be traded. After years and years (and years) of lateral mediocrity I didn’t renew my tickets last year and have been to just one game in the last one plus seasons. I’ve been actively rooting against the Bucks this year but have vowed to attend one game for each forward thinking trade the team makes.

    • Asik can be traded any time, it’s just they want it done prior to the 20th so if they acquire more than one player, any of those players can be included in multi-player trades prior to the trade deadline. If they got a two-for-one for Asik after the 20th those acquired players could only be traded in single player deals.

  5. Haha I like the idea of attending games after the Bucks make moves with the future in mind. I think I will will do the same

  6. I’d like to see the Bucks play hard, play smart, play together… and win as many games as possible — but not at the cost of trading away our future. Whatever the front office does to upgrade the team, I don’t want it to be with duct tape and chicken wire and spackle and cheap paint.
    I really like what Jeremy has to say here. As he might put it (please correct me if I’m wrong), it’s a matter of process, of building a team the right way, even if it takes some time; and not just patching things together for temporary fixes. It seems like a lot of good Bucks fans agree.
    I’m not saying that the front office should run the team primarily by advice from the fans; but then again, it wouldn’t hurt them to listen to the fans in a sincere and meaningful way. I think a lot of us are at a king of breaking point with the Bucks, and losing a Larry or John or Khris or Brandon for a handful of beans or has-beens could cause us to at least need a much-needed vacation from any more madness in team management.

  7. What the hell are the bucks going for with an ASik addition cuz they aren’t going to be be half as good as the Heat and pacers.. Waste of assets and a waste of lottery position. I’ll stop going to games if this trade happens.

  8. Forget about everything (including trades) and just play the young guys every game. Worry about upgrades like trades and free agency until AFTER the draft.

    With the east being so poor, if the Bucks make even modest improvements after the draft they will likely make the playoffs next year.

    DO NOT DO ANYTHING THIS YEAR!

  9. Both Sanders and Henson struggle defending true centers in this league which will become the Bucks’ Achilles heel regardless of whether we win the lottery or not. It doesn’t make any sense to have a big rotation of Henson/Asik/Sanders because of the offensive liability Sanders and Asik present when on the court at the same time.

    A rotation of Henson/Asik/Ersan with Ersan as the 6th man does look good on paper however. It’s looking increasingly promising that Henson will turn into a two-way player over the next few years making the Henson/Asik combination solid defensively with Henson being able to carry the front court’s offensive load.

    I wouldn’t be opposed to Sanders/2nd for Asik/Papanikolaou so long as there’s discussion between Asik and the FO about an extension in Milwaukee. I don’t believe Asik alone would be able to salvage this season, I actually think him or Sanders would provide the same amount of wins so it wont hurt our draft pick. It will however make the team more complete and present an opportunity next season to go from last place to a good playoff seed with the addition of Smart, Exum, Wiggins or Parker.

    It is interesting that Houston is delaying the trade until Dec 15th-20th, Philly could trade Thad Young at any time and we could trade Ersan at any time. So if the Bucks are part of Asik rumors, it seems more likely to involve Sanders or maybe Houston is waiting on Millsap.

    • Not a bad idea, but I see no reason why Houston would want Sanders. He and Asik are too similar – and Sanders is payed too much to play a backup role to Dwight Howard. The main reason Asik is available in the first place is because he and Howard are too similar to play concurrently.

      I can’t see a trade occurring (not that I want it to) without including Ersan. He’s the one that would be a good compliment to Howard’s inside presence as a stretch-4.

        • I looked up some stats last night and I’m not sold that Asik is an upgrade from Larry. 2012/13 stats:

          Sanders – 9.8ppg/9.8rpg/2.8blk. 109 offensive rating, 99 defensive rating

          Asik – 10.1ppg/11.7rpg/1.1blk. 105 offensive rating, 103 defensive rating.

          As far as defending in the paint, Sanders gave up 38.4% on “close” shots, while Asik gave up 51.2%.

          On/off numbers are almost identical – with Sanders off the floor, the Bucks gave up 6.1 more points per 100 possessions and the Rockets gave up 6.5 without Asik.

          So in general, I’d say that Asik is a slightly better rebounder and a worse defender than Sanders. I don’t believe that edge in rebounding makes up for the athleticism/defense that Sanders provides via activity on D and blocked shots.

          Combine that with the fact that Sanders is two years younger and under contract for three more years than Asik, and I don’t see any advantage to swapping the two.

    • This exactly – A Asik-Ilya-Henson rotation is superior to a Sanders-Henson-Ilya or a Asik-Henson-Sanders rotation.

      Swap out Larry in a 3 team deal and get Asik + another strong asset for him but wait until right before the deadline to pull the trigger so we can pile up losses.

      Why should the Bucks make this trade?
      -Asik provides physicality that Larry doesn’t and Henson already does so much of what Larry does. Ersan is the one unique player that should not be dealt unless we get a substantial return. there aren’t many Ersans in the league.

      • Sillybilly, and others, do you really want to let go of Larry so soon? He was our sensation last season. I know he’s had a setback, but to go so far as to trade him?
        Also, I think he’s going to develop into at least a decent offensive player. I think he can get to the point where he can knock down 15-18 footers consistently; plus he can handle the ball well enough, and has the agility, to take the ball to the hoop for dunks and little bank shots.
        I think Larry and John are our two best players going forward; with Khris and Brandon a little behind; and Giannis in a category of spectacular potential uniquely his own. I would be extremely reluctant to trade any of these guys unless there’s a huge return, for the future as well as the present.

  10. Maybe a three team trade where Houston gets Ersan, Some other team gets Asik and we get some combination of young talent, expiring contracts and draft picks

    • just as long as we wait until the last minute to do it Im fine with it. let the losses compound and then do it its probably the best for the future of the team so long as sanders or henson is the one traded.

  11. I don’t mind losing Illyasova at this point–he has always had a ton of talent but never seems to capitalize on it. Between injuries and settling for outside jumpers he just doesn’t bring a solid starting presence for the future. Would be a nice 6th man.

    Can’t the front office learn from the mistakes of the last decade? Watching journeymen come to town just to snag the “elusive” 8th seed is old. Lets just suck. Just this one season.

    Watching our young players grow up is going to be a TON of fun, even if we only get 20-25 wins this year. Players like Giannis, and Henson add a brand of exciting basketball that we haven’t had since Desmond Mason. They’re high flyers and highlght-reel worthy players. In the end I’d rather watch a young team grow up, and be exciting in doing so, than a collection of vets making the playoffs only to get sacrificed in the first round.

    Plus the ceiling is SO high for this team. If Sanders can develop his offensive game a little, Henson and Giannis grow (and bulk) up, Knight finds his role, and Khris finds his shot consistently this team can be very good. Especially if we get a top 5 pick this spring.

    Kind of a fan of Larry Drew as well.

    Wolters looks like a solid pick too.

    Lets face it–we’ve been BAD since 2002…what’s one REALLY bad season going to hurt?

    Pretty sure an 8th seed wont get us a new arena.

  12. Omer Asik x Terrance Jones for Ilyasova and 1/2 second rounds seems like a good trade for the bucks then just find a way to trade Larry Sanders

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  14. This can’t be happening… again. The Harris trade last year was nearly my breaking point as a Bucks fan. I’ve been trying to be supportive of this team since I was a kid. We have an excellent history but what good is that if we can’t develop and play for a higher seed than 8th. And this has the feeling of just that, a build to mediocrity.

    Oh and didn’t we just get over drama filled disgruntled players? Why the hell would we even consider someone who has that adjective following their name?

    If this trade was straight up or with cash considerations, I could be convinced. However, losing picks would just be idiotic.

  15. As a fan from Australia since the days of Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson (not Andrew Bogut) (hopefully Dante Exum). Im upset at the attendance at games this season. I watch almost every game religiously online, If I lived in Milwaukee I’d absolutely make the effort to attend as many games as possible, especially to support the team and management during a losing season. I have honestly had more enjoyment this season watching games this season with guys like Henson and Giannis, as well as the prospect of picking up a top 5 prospect in the draft, than I have from the past 10 mediocre seasons. To see such low attendances quite frankly is a disgrace, whats the point of supporting a team if its only when they’re winning. The taste of victory is so much sweeter when you’ve have endured the hard times. My advice to all bucks fans in the area would be to get to as many games as possible and keep showing support to the team and sending a message to management that the fans aren’t just going to support the team when they’re winning games, but through thick and thin, maybe then I wont have to go to bed shaking at the prospect that when I wake up Jennings, Ellis and Redick will be on our roster.

    • Well said, I couldn’t agree more. I’m a Bucks fan living in S. Korea and have been following this season more closely than others. It’s been more difficult because they are losing, but by following along during the struggles and watching every move, I know the victories down the road will be sweeter. I’d also encourage all fans near Milwaukee to show your support by attending games at the BC.

      • I wonder if fans might support the Bucks more right now if they do commit to their young guys and make it clear that they’re not going to compromise with mediocre veterans.
        I could get really excited about this team if John, Larry, Khris, Brandon and Giannis (possibly Nate) get priority in playing time. If the front office caves in to thirty-somethings, or caters to selfish shooters and lax defenders, then I don’t think the Bucks deserve our support, and the team would just be too agonizing to watch, anyway.

  16. I feared the Eran trade from the moment Dwight landed in Houston, even though I would like to get Ersan’s salary of the books moving forward. Dwight’s style of play benefits a shooting four, such as Ersan or Anderson as seen in Orlando, and would be a really nice piece for Houston to add to try and make a deep playoff run this season. Asik in Milwaukee would be a prime example of a good player being on the wrong team as this would create a log jam at the four and five spots, unless Larry were traded as well. While, both Larry and Asik absolutely can not be a dependable scoring option, I much prefer Larry’s ability to score off of second chances than that of Asik. Also, playing Henson at the four, as it appears to be the clubs thoughts moving forward, with some of his defensive limitations, would best be done alongside Larry, as Larry is much better at protecting the rim when a teammate is beat. Asik’s character qualities also come to mind as he essentially quit on Houston. I am completely fine with trading Ersan to Houston, but not for Asik, only for future assets. None of Houston’s current young talent that could possibly be available are real intriguing, to me anyways, but maybe an expiring along with this years first rounder could be worked out. But then again Houston doesn’t really have any expirings that come to mind. Just don’t bring Asik to town, and don’t get rid of anybody during the season besides Ersan and I’ll be happy.

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  18. apatheticbucksfan

    jeeziss larry throws a few champagne bottles n now yall want to part ways. mad larry balls hard u guys. he balls hard

  19. Trading for Asik would be a solid pick up. However a better statement and question is Erysan, Henson, and Sanders your big man rotation for the next 3 years. If it is and everyone’s happy, leave Asik alone and move on. If however you think the upcoming draft may result in a 3/4 or 4/5 guy, I’d probably error on the side of having a banger in there with Asik rather than a face-up guy with Erysan.

    This year is a fill, gap, and hope year. Brandon Knight, OJ Mayo, and Caron Butler. Hope that Knight materializes to fill the lottery pick status and develop into a talented PG. Fill OJ Mayo in as a scorer who is a professional who will handle himself in whatever situation. Gap with Caron Butler as we wait and see what young Giannis materializes into or what surprise may arise in Middleton.

    The 1-3 are the weakest parts of the Bucks, so in the end I’d rather see a trade for a draft pick to fill this with young talent with Erylsova, but if Asik is available to bring some stability to the front line since ZaZa and Sanders are out and Henson is not considered a rough and tumble guy.

  20. Attention All Bloggers and Wirters of any blog or website or institution that covers the Bucks. . . Or anyone elses who cares about the future of the Bucks. Please, please, please, I’m begging you, please do not post assessments of the positive impacts a player like Asik could have on the Bucks. . . I know its your duty, your right, your whatever. . . Just in case Mr.Hammond or Senator Kohl decide to browse websites scouring for any little tidbit, or any little piece of evidence that not all confidence would be lost if they complete a stupid trade like this. I know the chances of bloggers’ opinions factoring into a decision is beyond minute- but considering how ill-advised this team has been run, would it really surprise you if it were?

    I just want everyone to Scream and shout how bad of a decision it is to win now. . .

    Any trade we complete should be for draft picks or players on their first or second year of their rookie contract. Conversely the Bucks should not move any player still on their rookie contract. . . that Should be the bare minimum requirement. . .

    Please, PLease, Please. . . continue this direction. . . I guaranty I’ll personally attend the rest of the home game. . . I also guaranty any moves made to “win now” and I will refuse to attend anymore games for this season, and I will drop my season tickets (Full season ticket holder for 4 years runnin’, partial holder since ’99). . .

    As a matter of fact, If a move to “win now” is made, as part of my boycott, I will attend away games, sit in sit to close proximity to TV camera’s and hold up signs that embarrass Kohl. . . Signs like “Milwaukee Bucks: NBA Purgatory” or “Herb Kohl, Ruining the bucks since 1985″

    Please, someone, anyone with a connection to Kohl, try and make him understand not only have the casual fans left, but now he is killing off the die hard fans. . .

  21. Alright JEREMY…!!!!

    Finally coming around about MIDDLETON. Granted he is NOT been very steady the last 5-6games,he has easily earned a longer look.

    As far as Asik trade….I’m all done worrying about this front office blunders. Can’t stop them,why cause myself so much agony

    GO BUCKS GO