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Current Rockets center Asik doesn't want to be Howard's backup

By Star-Advertiser news services

LAST UPDATED: 07:17 a.m. HST, Jul 06, 2013

Not everyone in Houston is celebrating the arrival of Dwight Howard to the Rockets.

According to ESPN, Omer Asik, the Houston Rockets' resident starting center, may want out with Howard reportedly choosing to join the team in free agency.

Asik has no interest in being Howard's backup or playing next to him, a source close to the Rockets' center told ESPN.com. It is not yet clear if Asik will demand a trade.

The Rockets may be able to use Asik as part of potential sign-and-trade scenarios. It is possible they also could engage the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign-and-trade for Howard if the Lakers want to avoid losing their star center for nothing in return.

It is also possible the Rockets will look to engage the Atlanta Hawks in a sign-and-trade deal for free agent Josh Smith. The Hawks are open to making a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets for Smith, league sources said. Smith and Howard played together on summer teams as teenagers and have talked in the past about becoming teammates in the NBA.

A quality defender, Asik averaged career highs in points (10.1), rebounds (11.7) and blocks (2.7) while starting all 82 games for Houston last season.

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