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NEW YORK -- With his starting spot gone and playing time slashed, Houston Rockets center Omer Asik again has asked for a trade, although the team has informed him it currently does not intend to deal him, sources told ESPN.com.
The issue was revived this week when Rockets coach Kevin McHale decided to take Asik out of the starting lineup after an experiment of playing him and Dwight Howard together yielded only mixed results.
Asik has continually declined to comment on the trade request.
This is essentially a stalemate situation that has been going on since the summer, when Asik made it clear he wanted out of Houston as soon as the Rockets signed Howard. The Rockets, concerned about depth and valuing Asik's defensive and rebounding abilities, told him they had no plans to trade him then, either.
Asik, who previously started all 90 games he played for the Rockets since signing as a free agent in 2012, played only four minutes off the bench on Wednesday against the 76ers and did not play in the second half. He had played in 239 consecutive regular-season games, which was the longest active streak in the NBA, but did not appear in Thursday's 109-106 victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
McHale said Asik sat out because he didn't feel well
Asik is averaging about 10 minutes fewer per game this season compared to last. His scoring and rebounding averages have taken a corresponding dip.
He has two years and $20 million left on his contract.