Is Omer Asik in New Orleans’ future?

Oct 14, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Houston Rockets guard Trevor Ariza (1) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik (3) during the second half of a preseason game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Rockets 117-98. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Derick E. Hingle/Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

The Pelicans traded for Omer Asik to make Anthony Davis’ life easier. Finally, the franchise forward would have a defensive-minded center cleaning up all his mistakes, pushing back against stronger players and helping out on the glass.

But even though the team performed at a league average level on defense with Asik on the court, his first season in New Orleans didn’t exactly go as planned. Now he’s an unrestricted free agent, giving the Pelicans a big question in need of an answer. Here’s ESPN’s Marc Stein with more:

"But the biggest source of uncertainty, in the short term, is how New Orleans handles Omer Asik’s forthcoming free agency. The Pels surrendered a first-round pick to acquire the 7-footer from Houston last summer, only to finish in the league’s bottom third in defensive efficiency despite the imposing interior duo Asik forms with Davis."

New Orleans was much better in the playoffs with Davis at the five and Ryan Anderson at power forward. But would that be the case for an entire season? Asik will be expensive, and turns 29 in July. The Pelicans have a huge decision to make. Will they have a new starting center next season?

(h/t: ESPN)

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports