The Houston Rockets plan to trade center Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans for a future first-round pick, Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday night.

Asik emerged as a trade candidate last year after the Rockets brought in center Dwight Howard from the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent. But nothing materialized with Asik and he remained with the Rockets last season.

Letting Asik go will free up cap room of the Rockets, who are one of the teams reported to be pursuing free agent Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks. The Pelicans, meanwhile, could pair Asik and forward Anthony Davison to form a strong defensive front line.

The draft pick the Rockets receive in the deal could be a late lottery pick as early as 2015, Yahoo reported.

In 48 regular-season games in 2013-14, Asik averaged 5.8 points and 7.9 rebounds. The previous season, in 2012-13, Asik averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds while playing in all 82 games for the Rockets.