April 1, 2012; Oklahoma City OK, USA; Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik (3) reacts to a foul call during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Will Omer Asik Be Back in Chicago Next Year?

Derrick Rose’s injury prematurely began the worry surrounding the Bulls 2013 season. Obviously the main focus for Bulls fans this offseason is now Rose and his recovery, but that isn’t the only thing that could violently shift the face of this team come Opening Tip of next season.

Apr 5, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik (3) pulls down a rebound during the second half against the Boston Celtics at the United Center. The Bulls won 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Omer Asik has an expiring contract and his story will be one to follow closely. After this season concludes Asik will be a restricted free agent and already teams across the nBA are licking their chops at the shot to sign the Turkish Delight.

Already the Cleveland Cavaliers have shown an interest in Asik as have the Golden State Warriors. It’s going to be a beefed up free agency class at the center position this year where last year Nene was the big man in play, Asik will be joined by Brook Lopez and JaVale McGee among others looking for new deals.

Remember back to last year’s trade deadline when the Bulls were looking to add a shooting guard. Gar Forman wanted to make a deal for O.J. Mayo but the Memphis Grizzlies wanted (depending on who you as) Omer Asik, Taj Gibson or both. No matter who was involved the instant either Asik or Gibson were mentioned, Forman hung up the phone politely.

But this time Forman needs to get out the check book and Chicago is strapped for cash. They pretty much maxed out their credit cards maxing out Derrick Rose and they have huge money tied up in Luol Deng ($71M), Carlos Boozer ($75M), and Joakim Noah ($60M).

In looking ahead to the far future, starting in 2014 Luol Deng becomes a free agent and in succeeded years Boozer and then Noah follow him with Rose’s new deal expiring last in 2017.

But in the here and now, Asik is the concern and what the Bulls do with him could effect future deals. Currently Asik makes $3.5 million on his deal and Chicago has a $2.3 million qualifying offer to keep him here.

If I’m David Kahn in Minnesota I’m on the phone with Asik’s agent offering him easily $4 million to play with Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams and next year’s MVP Kevin Love.

The list begins and likely could end in Minnesota. Not only does David Kahn occasionally forget how many position players he has (remember when he had a team full of small forwards in one draft class), but he loves to overpay Daniel Snyder style. Just ask Darko Millic how many cheeseburgers he’s been able to buy with the fat (and wildly undeserved) contract he got.

List of Possible Free Agents after 2013-14 season

Omer Asik

C

Unrestricted

C.J.Watson

PG

Unrestricted

Ronnie Brewer

SG

Unrestricted

Kyle Korver

SF

Unrestricted

But just about everywhere is landing spot for a big defensive center who can rebound and has been an understudy to one of the league’s best offensive rebounding centers.

I hate to propose this, but what do you think Pat Riley would pay to steal a Bench Mob assets away from the Bulls and have a solid center who very well could start on any team in the NBA except for Orlando, Chicago and New York.

He’d pay more then $2.3 million that’s for sure.

The point here is, as much fun as watching this team grow has been, money is going to tear it apart. After next season, even if Asik resigns in Chicago for 2012-13, he’s an unrestricted free agent and will be joined by Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson.

Now is the time for Gar Forman and the Bulls to prioritize what they want this team to be and to look like. It’s time to ask the question no one wants to ask about this team because not only are the answer’s hard, but it’s going to hurt some feelings.

Who is expendable on this team?

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