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Roundtable: Could Alvin Gentry turn Omer Asik into Andrew Bogut?

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Do scenarios exist in which Asik could still factor in successfully for the Pelicans?

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Oleh Kosel: No, Asik cannot replicate a Bogut-type of role within an offense similar to the Warriors, but he shouldn't be asked to go down that road. In Rick Adelman's three seasons with the Timberwolves, Minnesota finished 4th, 11th and 4th in pace. Remember, they had Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love manning the 4 and 5 spots. Great outlet passing and designated personnel (Rubio, Martin, Brewer) leading fastbreaks were key.

Asik has strengths which we've harped over profusely here at TBW: defense and rebounding. Those same Adelman teams finished 5th, 14th and 6th in the rebounding department. Before the Pelicans can push the ball down the court, it's vital they gain possession first, and taking the ball after an opponent's made hoop doesn't count.

David Fisher: I do not think Asik can be the distributor that Bogut is, but Gentry will do a better job of taking advantage of Asik's strengths. For instance, look for a significant increase in hand-offs where Asik functions as a screener on the ball.

Part of the reason I believe Gentry got the job was instead of looking at all the things that needed to change on the roster he told Dell Demps they were trying to cook the wrong recipes with the ingredients available. That said, I still hold out some hope that Gentry and Demps decide to go after Greg Monroe, who could absolutely function as the fulcrum at the elbow.

Kevin Barrios: I'm still not sure what we should do with Asik. I like him, I do. However, he is lumbering and has absolutely no offensive game. If a sign-and-trade is available where we send Ryan Anderson out for either Greg Monroe, Taj Gibson or maybe Tiago Splitter, I think I make that move to fit this team into a more athletic model. None of those guys are Andre Drummond or DeAndre Jordan, but they are agile enough and are decent enough defensively (Taj is a little undersized for the 5, but he's a really good post defender) combined with solid offensive games that will nullify what we lost defensively with Asik.

However, if Asik comes at a cost of 4-7 million a year, I'm also fine with bringing him back. Bogut is a lot better offensive player than Asik and also seems to be a lot more aggressive, so I'm not sure Omer can replicate what Bogut does completely. The other thing to consider is that Alvin Gentry is an offensive guru, so maybe he knows how to coach Asik up. If Omer stays, let's hope that's the case.

Nico Bagio: Yes, very much. A big, bulky center will still have a place in the free-wheeling styles of an offensively minded system. But at this point, one must question whether Asik at 25 min/g at 12M is worth it over someone like Koufos or Biyombo at a reduced price. I wouldn't be surprised if Dell orchestrates a S&T to a team like Milwaukee (where Asik will be the starting center and will get tons of minutes) and grabs a credible, lengthy wing in return.

Chris Cucchiara: It will all come down to whether or not Asik would take a role such as that one. It would mean reduced minutes and reduced money. I could see him signing a short deal to remain with the Pels and try to rehabilitate his image in order to cash in on the cap jump of 2016.

As far as his actual play goes, he could be a poor man’s Bogut, but I would rather a player that could finish more efficiently at the basket.  Maybe Gentry’s system will positively affect Asik as well?

Peyton Fine: I don't think Asik can be Bogut for the Pels. As much as I want to believe in the scintillating tastes of Asik's passing that we have seen, he is too turnover prone.

However, I do not think we should find a new center.  Asik proved himself defensively in the second half of last season, and Gentry's teams have struggled to rebound the ball in the past, but that would not be a problem with Asik. He sets brick-wall screens, which will match nicely with Gentry's sets, and I just have to believe that he will get better at catching and finishing around the rim.

Kyle Gahagan: I'm not so sure Omer Asik is the same caliber player as Andrew Bogut, though I hate to admit that. Bogut's 10 footer game is an asset that Asik never had, and that creates a void on the floor when he's in. Omer has nearly no shooting game beyond the rim, as compared to what Bogut is able to do. This years shot charts for each player exhibits this clear distinction.

Asik replicating Bogut is not a possibility, though both possess great defensive capabilities. Therefore, I think we need to find either a more mobile/agile center or shooting center via free-agency similar to how Amar'e Stoudemire was used in Phoenix or Bogut is used in Golden State respectively.

Quentin Haynes: I don’t because Bogut and Asik are different players. Really different. Bogut is a great rim protector, but a really, really, really good passer. Having a center who can distribute the ball a la Bogut can is a huge plus for an offense. I also think that his passing also contributes to Bogut being an overall better offensive player than Asik.

I’m on the fence about Asik’s return at the moment because Davis at center is something I can see Gentry trying. I would bring Asik back, but if they disagree, that second post position becomes very interesting.

Matty Robinson: I don't think Asik can do what Bogut does on offense; he's an underrated passer but he's not at Bogut's level. However I do think the Pels should bring him back to anchor the defense.

Don't forget, Asik had his best year in Houston within an up-tempo offense. More space to operate will improve his odds of finishing at the rim as Asik was putrid in traffic.