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Rockets plan to keep Asik

The SportsXchange

The Houston Rockets have no plans to trade Omer Asik now that they have free-agent Dwight Howard in the fold at center.

ESPN.com reported Sunday that Asik asked the team to trade him once Howard committed on Friday to sign a four-year, $88 million contract with the Rockets.

"With Omer, he had a great year for us last year and really became one of the top centers in the league," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said, according to ESPN.com. "It's just when you have an opportunity to get Dwight, it's hard not to. I'm sure Omer right now is a little down in the dumps, but we'll pick him up."

Asik, who signed a three-year, $25 million contract as a restricted free agent with the Rockets in 2012, started all 82 regular-season games for the Rockets in 2012-13 and averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks.

Howard and Asik are both true centers, but McHale is willing to find a way to put the two on the floor at the same time.

"You do play two bigs," McHale said.

McHale thinks Howard makes the Rockets an instant championship contender.

"I'm looking forward to getting together with the team and putting everything together," McHale said. "I feel really comfortable we can compete with anybody."
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