- Brian Windhorst, ESPN.com
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Houston Rockets center Omer Asik has formally asked the team to trade him in the wake of the team landing Dwight Howard in free agency. But the Rockets have no plans to grant Asik's wish, sources told ESPN.com.
Asik has threatened to leave the Rockets in free agency if he's not traded, sources said. However, Houston has him under contract for two more years at a total of $20 million.
While many Rockets players rejoiced at landing Howard last week and spread cheer on their Twitter accounts, Asik had a different reaction.
After starting all 82 games for the Rockets last season and averaging 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks, Asik was not happy about his playing time and role being diminished. Both Howard and Asik are true centers and in most situations, it would seem playing them together would be challenging.
Shortly after Howard announced his decision, Asik was in contact with the team and asked to be moved. The Rockets, however, have turned away offers thus far and will continue to do so, sources said.
On Sunday at the Orlando Pro Summer League, Rockets' coach Kevin McHale said the team will try to mend fences with Asik.
"With Omer, he had a great year for us last year and really became one of the top centers in the league," McHale said. "It's just when you have an opportunity to get Dwight, it's hard not to. I'm sure Omer right now is a little down in the dumps, but we'll pick him up."
McHale said he can see lineups when Asik and Howard would play together in addition to Asik, who along with Howard would create perhaps the best defensive and rebounding rotation in the league, backing Howard up. McHale called to mind the 1980s when the Rockets used lineups with Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson.
"You do play two bigs," McHale said. "You have to get spacing and you have to make sure your small guys have got to make sure they keep the court spaced."
ESPN.com's Michael Wallace contributed to this report.
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6dMatt Walks, ESPN.com