The Houston Rockets plan to trade center Omer Asik and send $1.5 million to the New Orleans Pelicans for a future first-round pick, according to multiple reports Wednesday night.
The draft pick the Rockets receive in the deal could be a late lottery pick in 2015.
The trade can't be finalized until July because of league rules.
Letting Asik go will free up $8.3 million in salary cap room next season for the Rockets, who are one of the teams reported to be pursuing free agent forward Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks. The reports also indicated that the Rockets are trying to trade point guard Jeremy Lin to create additional cap space.
The Pelicans, meanwhile, are expected to pair Asik and forward Anthony Davis to form a strong defensive front line.
Asik emerged as a trade candidate last year after the Rockets brought in center Dwight Howard from the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent. But nothing materialized with Asik and he remained with the Rockets last season.
In 48 regular-season games in 2013-14, Asik averaged 5.8 points and 7.9 rebounds. The previous season, in 2012-13, Asik averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds before Howard's arrival while playing in all 82 games for the Rockets.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun