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First Trade Chip Falls for Houston

The Houston Rockets are one step closer to a big summer acquisition after finding a taker for Omer Asik.

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The Houston Rockets have big plans for the summer, almost as big as their plan to add Dwight Howard in free agency last summer. Before they can make another superstar addition, however, they had to unload some salary, and the first big step in that direction is in process.

On Wednesday night, not long after the  news broke that the Dallas Mavericks had consummated a six-player trade with the New York Knicks, the Houston Rockets reached an agreement to send Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for a 2015 first round draft pick.

The move not only gives the Pelicans a strong front court presence who will perfectly complement Anthony Davis, it also clears roughly $8.4 million in cap space for Houston.

This is the first step for Houston as they look to clear enough cap space to sign either LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, but they still need to find a taker for Jeremy Lin, who also is slotted to count just under $8.4 million next season.

That could prove to be a much more difficult prospect.

Bill Ingram is a Senior NBA Analyst for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA since 1998.

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