Omer Asik started all 82 games for the Rockets last season, averaging 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds. (Rocky Widner/Getty Images)
Omer Asik, the Houston Rockets' starting center last season, has formally asked the team to trade him in the wake of the Dwight Howard signing, ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst is reporting.
The Rockets have "no plans" to trade Asik, however, and have turned down all offers so far, according to the report.
The 27-year-old, who started all 82 games last season after serving as Joakim Noah's backup in Chicago for two years, contacted the team to ask for a trade "shortly after" Howard announced his decision on Friday night.
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Asik averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds in 30.0 minutes per game last season, but would surely see his minutes cut if he stayed with the Rockets. In an interview at the Orlando Summer League, head coach Kevin McHale expressed confidence that Asik could play alongside Howard and be a key piece for Houston next season.
"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."