Rockets, Asik Agree on 3-year, $25 Million Deal


What was your favorite Omer Asik moment in Chicago?

In a move that surprised absolutely no one, the Houston Rockets have offered Omer Asik a 3-year, $25 million contract. The Bulls have until July 14 — three days after the offer sheet is signed– to match the offer.

They won’t be matching that offer. At least they shouldn’t.

Houston was scheduled to meet with Asik as soon as free agency opened early this morning and they finally had the closest thing to a free shot at the coveted Asik that they’ve had since he came to the Bulls from Turkey. Every trade discussion the Bulls have had with the Rockets has included Asik’s name and Houston has been hot after the Turkish Hammer ever since they found out he’d be a restricted free agent.

What comes next is the Bulls move on Asik. The question is what will it be: will the Bulls pass on offering Asik $25 million thus tying up close to $45 million tied up in just three players or do they let him walk to Houston?

If Chicago matches — which Gar Forman has devoutly said all along the Bulls will indeed do– the Bulls will have Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Omer Asik serving as over half their salary in the future.

"Should the Bulls match, the final year of Asik’s contract would cost the Chicago $15 million…Putting that in perspective, $15 million is what Carlos Boozer made last season."

The Bulls said it was their number one priority to re-sign Asik this offseason and they’d do anything necessary to re-sign him.

Now the question enters on whether Gar Forman was blowing hot air as a last ditch effort to scare the Rockets into messing up this deal somehow. Houston didn’t blink and now they finally had the center they’ve needed since 2009. Asik will most likely step into the starting role in Houston, something that wasn’t available to him in Chicago, as the Rockets currently have no centers on roster.

Marcus Camby is a free agent and Houston traded Samuel Dalembert to the Bucks before the draft.

The Bulls are most likely going to go into the luxury tax this year after they fill out their roster so now Jerry Reinsdorf needs to ask himself if he’s already going there why not go there? The steep penalties for teams in the tax don’t begin until after this season to the Bulls would be paying the old dollar for every dollar over the tax they are.

The Rockets strategically back loaded Asik’s contract to throw the Bulls off the trail since if Chicago matches, they potential could be deep in the luxury in the final years of Asik’s deal and will be paying the high fines. Should the Bulls match, the final year of Asik’s contract would cost the Bulls $15 million.

Putting that in perspective, $15 million is what Carlos Boozer made last season. This was a brilliant effort by Houston to scare the Bulls away from matching and it might work.

A sign and trade isn’t going to happen either so don’t hold your breath. Asik is going to bolt to Houston and good luck to him. Some of the more jaded people in Chicago are viciously trying to justify not matching Asik but the reality is, the Rockets caught the Bulls at the perfect time to steal Asik away and they finally have their guy.