The Rockets are clearing up room, hoping to make a run at LeBron or Melo
As a starter in 2012-13, he averaged a double-double, with 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. He'll be a great addition for the Pelicans, despite the fact that he has been riding the bench with the Rockets since the arrival of Dwight Howard.
For the Rockets, this clears up some cap space that might be used on one of the elite free agents who have recently been made available by opting out of their player options with their current teams.
LeBron James is obviously the ultimate free agent prize, and the Rockets would love to get their hands on him. The Rockets are hoping that their combo of James Harden and Dwight Howard is more appealing to him than going back to the Heat with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
If LeBron ends up going back to Miami as expected, the Rockets will direct their efforts toward Carmelo Anthony, who recently opted out of his deal with the Knicks.
Anthony is arguably the league's best pure scorer, and combined with Harden would give the Rockets an elite scoring duo that would be incomparable in the NBA. Combined with Howard, the Rockets would be a force in the West, and could certainly compete for a championship even if LeBron chooses to stay in Miami (or go elsewhere).
This Asik move is a good one for the Pelicans, who immediately gain a solid big man who can get double-digit rebounds, and it's good for the Rockets, who get a little more salary flexibility and can now make a run at one of the best players in the league.