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Trading Asik: Good Lessons from Bad Movies


I'm a bit of sports movie nut. Case in point, I've read several books on sports movies! A particularly terrible movie is "Little Big League", which centers on the premise of a twelve year old getting ownership of the Minnesota Twins. He then appoints himself as the manager and proceeds to prove to everyone that a kid can manage a baseball team. Or something; the plot gets much more convoluted, but there's this random scene in the movie that sums up my feelings on Asik:

After hearing a child will be their manager, a few players are displeased, including Mike McGrevey. The following dialogue ensues:

Mac: You're a frickin' primadonna, McGreavy. You don't deserve to wear that uniform.

Mike McGrevey: You know, you're right, Mac. I'm a disgrace to the Twins. I think you should trade me.

Mac: As soon as we find someone dumb enough to take you, that's EXACTLY what we're gonna do.

Billy Heywood: No we're not. We're not trading you.

Mike McGrevey: So what are you going to do, bench me?

Billy Heywood: Nope, play you. When it's your turn to pitch, you pitch. Nothing changes.

Mike McGrevey: You know, I don't think that's such a good idea. I have a feeling my concentration's not going to be that good out there. I might tend to forget some of those scouting reports.

Billy Heywood: Well, that's up to you, you're the free agent. Hey Mac, what's the going rate for an absent-minded pitcher who can't get anybody out?

Billy the kid has it right! A good player doesn't actually have the leverage they think they do. Their contracts are held by the team. What's more, if they don't play, or play poorly, they hurt their market value. It's remarkable how often teams seem to forget this. If a few more had watched some bad sports movies, maybe we'd see fewer good players forcing their ways off of teams.

To be fair, the key difference in the already absurd world of Little Big League is that the Twins have a good player and intend to play him. That's something the Rockets could learn from. Regardless, trading away a good player is rarely a wise move, and the Rockets should only trade Asik if it improves the team (Arturo suggested making a play for Faried. In fact, thanks to Andre Iguodala's departure, the Nuggets have a trade exception, so such a trade could work "straight up").

While I may be skeptical of McHale's coaching as of late, I have been quite happy in regards to the Rockets' front office. They haven't been trading away assets for below market value. So, unlike most NBA teams, I don't think the front office requires advice from a bad movie. However, I am curious to see how the Asik situation will play out. For now, I'll side with optimism. But that could change if he doesn't get minutes or the team trades him away for nothing.

As I would sit scouts and gm's to watch the scout scene in money ball, I would also sit Mchale and Asik down to watch that scene. Now, I have a movie to watch now. Thanks, Dre.
Andrew,
Yes, Moneyball has some of the best scenes ever. I get chills by Jonah Hill's speech in the parking garage.

I take no responsibility for you watching Little Big League. It's got its moments for sports fans, and actually is enjoyable as a MST like movie. But to call it a good movie would be a lie.
A bit aside from the main point here, but can I ask which are your top5 sports movies, Andres?
RihardsZ,
Wow, you may have just de-railed my afternoon...I'll work on this :)
This is not the only instance of getting good advice from kids. Adults tend to overcomplicate simple decisions, and oversimplify complicated ones.

As to the poll, the Rockets are better off playing Asik behind Dwight. Talented 7fters don't grow on trees. The only reason to move him is if you believe you have holes in your roster that need to be filled.
From my observations you play the best players. Play them both together. Mchale should be fired if he doesn't do this. Tim and David, Gasol and Bynum, Blake and Deandre. Two productive bigs work. Limiting paint efficiency sounds like a great idea to me. 12 fouls to play with. Mchale, USE THEM.
dre, arent yall big fans of ryan anderson? the asik-anderson trade would help both teams. the rockets would still have greg smith to back up dwight
The Dwight/Asik tandem has underwhelmed thus far (small sample size). HOU's defense is great with that tandem, but their offense becomes legendarily bad.

If Asik doesn't want to play in HOU, he might as well be shipped out (Ryan Anderson!!).
It is a little more simple than that. Asik wants to get paid to play. He had a standout year last year. He is in a contract year this year. If Asik is unable to play minutes he will not be able to show that last years stats where accurate, any type of improvement and this could effect his market value during the free agency. There is also the rumor that after the Howard trade Asik was promissed big minutes and the coach is reneging.

As for playing Asik and Howard because they are the two best (and tall) will not work. To play two post players at the same time, one of the players needs be able to score efficiently from the high post. Otherwise his defender doubles down or floats the paint. At the pro level it is unreasonable to assume that screen switching bigmen will create many open looks. High post play requires a high percentage 12 footer or the ability to drive the lane from 12 feet out (EG quick first step).

Asik and Howard - both players are pretty much post up, dunk players on offence. Which means both want to occupy the same spots in the paint at the same time.
Tim and David - both players have a complete game which includes a jump shot and the first step drive.
Gasol and Bynum, - Gasol can hit the 12 footer and so so on the drive, Bynum has a good first step drive.
Blake and Deandre - Blake is nearing a complete game on offense. Nasty drives to hoop.
James, good points but Asik actually has two years (counting this one) left on his deal.
If the Rockets decide to play them both together, they'll have some growing pains- like the Jazz are having now with Favors and Kanter. Both these guys primarily work from the low block- Favors (according to interview) has been working on his elbow game so they can play high-low and fix the geometry of the floor, but it's currently kind of a disaster. The Jazz need at least another year to figure out spacing and playing together because they currently both operate as true centers. The great thing is that their big men are 21 and 22, and have miles of improvement ahead of them. Howard and Asik are both 27, and given their respective coordination and shooting forms, I highly doubt either of them is going to suddenly become a dominant player from 18 feet.

Without proper spacing in the post, dribble penetration does not work consistently- with the new zone defense rules, it's significantly harder to play two true centers together than it used to be.

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