After reportedly trying to pry the Bulls’ backup center via trade for the past year, the Houston Rockets have offered Omer Asik a $25 million contract offer. The deal averages out as $8 million a year, but is structured so that it pays out around $5 million a year the first two years, with most of the money being backloaded to the third and final year to dissuade the Bulls from matching the offer.
While it may seem like big money for a former backup with fairly modest averages (3 points and 5 rebounds a game), his biggest impact is felt on the defensive end – no five-man unit with Asik on the floor for over 50 minutes last season allowed more than 100 points per 100 possessions. Being that center is the most important defensive position on the floor, combined with the lack of quality centers on the market, $8 million a year is steep but not terrible. On top of that, Houston only has Luis Scola’s contract on the books in year three of Asik’s deal, and the Rockets are actively seeking to move the Argentinian at the moment.
For the Bulls, its highly unlikely that they will match the offer given their high payroll, and will lose a terrific young center. However, on their team Asik would only have ever been a backup (and therefore a bit of a luxury) so he has ended up becoming more a luxury that they couldn’t afford, than an irreplaceable piece of the puzzle.