Haynes & Jaynes: Blazers NBA Draft Grade
Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey constructed a smooth, slick deal Sunday night hours before the free agency period began.
He acquired the fifth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Thomas Robinson, from the Houston Rockets in exchange for a pair of players that aren't guaranteed to be in the league next season.
Olshey basically got something for nothing, and that will always be a great business move no matter what line of work you're in. Portland now holds picks No. 5, 6 and 11 from last year's draft.
But what's being overlooked in all this was the Trail Blazers' willingness to facilitate the deal in order for Houston to free up the necessary cap space to pursue free agent center Dwight Howard.
According to league sources, several teams including the Trail Blazers, are closely monitoring the Omer Asik situation. Reports are out that the 7-0 center is available. If the Rockets get that verbal agreement they so desperately want from Dwight Howard, Asik will be moved.
One source who is tuned-in with how things could develop tells CSNNW.com that the Trail Blazers are in the Rockets' good graces, which could have an influence on where they choose to ship Asik when it's time to do so.
The center position is a dire need for Portland, being that they were one of the worst defensive teams in the league.
Asik, 26, had a career-year last season in his first year with Houston as he averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 30.0 minutes a game. The three-year pro even participated in all 82 games.
He has two years left on his deal at $8.3 million per.
If Portland does get the green light from Houston, don't be surprised if free agent JJ Hickson agrees to a sign-and-trade to get the deal done. If that's out of the question, there are other ways Portland could make it happen.
It is widely known that Olshey has a good relationship with Rockets GM Daryl Morey and agent Andy Miller, who represents both Asik and Hickson.