Jul 15, 2014 00:41 Report: Pelicans make trade for Omer Asik Report: Pelicans make trade for Omer Asik Associated Press photo by PAT SULLIVAN -- The Houston Rockets' Omer Asik grabs a rebound in front of the Memphis Grizzlies' Rudy Gay during a game Dec. 22, 2012, in Houston. The Pelicans are working on a deal that would send Asik to New Orleans for a future draft pick, according to Yahoo! Sports. BY TED LEWIS| firstname.lastname@example.org July 15, 2014 Comments The Pelicans may have solved their problem at center before draft night. Yahoo Sports first reported Wednesday night that the team has dealt a future first-round draft pick, presumably for 2015, to Houston in exchange for Omer Asik and $1.5 million in cash. Pelicans officials could not confirm the trade, which will be not become official until July. Other reports said the deal contains protections: The Pelicans will keep the pick if it is early in the the lottery or falls to 20th or beyond; the Rockets get the pick if it is late in the lottery to No. 19. In Asik, the Pelicans get a defensive presence at center to go along with all-star forward Anthony Davis while freeing up cap space for the Rockets in their pursuit of either LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony. Asik was to count $8.3 million against the cap for the Rockets. Asik, a 7-foot-0, 255-pound native of Turkey has been in the NBA for four years, the first two with Chicago, which acquired him from Portland in a three-way deal after he was the 36th player selected in the 2010 draft. He moved to Houston as a restricted free agent in 2012. After starting every game in 2012-13, Asik was primarily a backup up for Dwight Howard last season, He started 19 games, averaging 20.2 minutes with 5.8 points and 7.9 rebounds. Asik was mentioned a potential trade acquisition for the Pelicans since the Rockets signed Howard. Houston, in turn, reportedly coveted forward Ryan Anderson, who was leading the Pelicans in scoring until he suffered a season-ending neck injury in January, but the Pelicans were unwilling to part with him. This season, the Pelicans used four centers: Jason Smith, who missed most of the season because of injury; Greg Stiemsma, who was released at the season’s end; rookie Jeff Withey; and midseason pickup Alexis Ajinca, who started most of the later games.