NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The Pelicans hope to make the playoffs, and they consider a seven footer from Turkey one of the key pieces. The team completed a three team trade that brought Omer Asik to New Orleans.
But, is Asik a big part of the future or a one-year rental?
It didn’t take long for Asik to be asked that question — it came only minutes after him and Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps sat down to meet with the media Tuesday.
“This is too early, I am just happy to be here. I am just looking forward to the season. That stuff comes after,” Asik said embracing the present.
Demps said that Asik cannot be signed to a contract extension, per the rules of the collective bargaining agreement.
So, Asik will be a free agent at the end of next season. How confident is Demps that he can keep him here?
“We feel he`s one of the top centers in the NBA,” says Demps.
But for Asik playing for head coach Monty Williams was an added plus. “I very happy to play for coach Monty, too. He is a defensive coach — a great coach.”
Asik has averaged 5.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 278 games.
With Asik on board, are the pelicans a playoff team?
Demps says, “We want to make the playoffs, we do. The expectations are high, we want that pressure. Putting this deal together, we are excited for the future.”
And, clearly the future is now.
The pelicans announced the signing of second round pick, guard Russ Smith.