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Rockets send Omer Asik to Pelicans; eye LeBron run

Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge shoots during the second quarter as Houston Rockets centre Omer Asik defends in Game 2 during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center.

Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports

The Houston Rockets have taken the first step toward making a run at LeBron James.

A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Rockets have agreed to trade Omer Asik and cash to the New Orleans Pelicans for a future first-round draft pick. The person requested anonymity because the deal cannot be completed until July due to rules in the collective bargaining agreement.

The deal was first reported by Yahoo! Sports. It gives the Rockets some of the cap space needed to go after James or Carmelo Anthony. They will also have to trade Jeremy Lin at some point to free up enough room.

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The deal also gives the Pelicans a top-flight defensive big man to pair with rising star Anthony Davis.

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