Rockets Make Offer To Big Man Asik; Bulls Seem Likely To Match

HANG TIME, TEXAS — If the Rockets don’t get the players they are aggressively chasing in free agency, it seems that will at the very least make the teams they’re dealing with swallow an expensive poison pill.

The three-year, $25.1-million offer sheet they have agreed to with center Omer Asik will reportedly pay him $15 million in the final season. In that same season, the Bulls are scheduled to pay guard Derrick Rose $17.8 million and forward Carlos Boozer $16.8 million. Word is Boozer would be amnestied before that season.

The Rockets will likely take the same approach in their dealings with Hornets restricted free agent Eric Gordon, who met with general manager Daryl Morey and coach Kevin McHale on Saturday in Houston.

Even though the Hornets have repeatedly said they will match any offer for Gordon, the Rockets, who have great flexibility under the salary cap and could reduce their payroll further, will likely try to make an offer to Gordon that is similarly backloaded in an attempt to force the Hornets into a sign-and-trade deal. The Rockets are willing to deal just about anyone on their roster and just picked up three new prospects — Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones — who could be included in a package.

The Rockets have been trying to talk turkey with the Magic about Dwight Howard for months, but not had any success. They will continue to keep an iron in that fire — even without a guarantee that Howard would sign an extension beyond next season — yet had to make a move to secure another big man they have coveted.

The Bulls, who’ll have three days to match the offer sheet once it can be officially signed on July 11, have repeatedly said they would match any offer to Asik. Chicago general manager Gar Foreman has said that Asik is a priority this offseason.

However, as the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson points out, keeping Asik in the fold could prove a challenge for a Chicago team nearing the cap:

Whether a back-loaded contract that climbs to $14.1 million and possibly slightly higher in Year 3 changes that is unknown. Derrick Rose is scheduled to make $17.8 million and Carlos Boozer $16.8 million in 2014-15 when Asik’s deal jumps, although the Bulls almost certainly will use the amnesty provision on Boozer.

The Bulls also hope to extend Taj Gibson this summer or next.

The Bulls turned down the Rockets’ offer of guard Courtney Lee for Asik at the February 2011 trade deadline. Though a backup to Joakim Noah, Asik’s defense is widely valued. He averaged 3.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game last season.

Two league sources said the Bulls told Kyle Korver’s agent there remain scenarios in which they can pick up Korver’s $5 million option. However, if the Bulls match on Asik, they will have $69.3 million committed to nine players. That’s only $1 million below the projected luxury-tax line with three or four players still needed to be signed.

Asik averaged 3.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game last season, but is a strong defender at the basket and the Rockets have tried often to get the Bulls interested in dealing him for nearly two years.

The Rockets had hoped to make a significant draft night deal that might have put them in a stronger position to negotiate with Orlando over Howard. But failing that, they have a bold plan to keep moving ahead that could be problematic for the teams they’re competing against. Those poison pills could be hard to swallow.


  1. Juanto says:

    MY Starting Lineup
    PG: Rose
    SG: Hamilton
    SF: Deng
    PF: Gibson
    C: Howard

    trade noah and boozer to howard.

  2. sleepless watcher says:

    ok… how i see it.. many of u could be right but also wrong… some of you… jesus… wtf are you talking about?!?! 🙂 seriously…

    omer is good.. but no way he is worth so much money.. with he contract like that he is even more over-payed than boozer…

    by the way.. this fella has to go… he cant rotate at all.. he looses the man he is defending.. he destroys the whole bulls defence!! and his offense is only good 1 out of 3 games… thats NOT good enough for the bulls!! maybe for bobcats.. they would love that! 😉

    Noah and Deng are 2 of the Bulls players who make the team what it is… but the option of having Noah playing power forward and having another big man.. is something i am talking about for years… it is something that can work very good… of course the best thing would getting Howard… but that aint gonna happen!! 😉

  3. ahmet says:

    good job bulss.. he is one of the best defenders

  4. jjballer4life says:

    Does anybody really understand basketball economics? You match the Asik offer, trade his expiring deal at year 3 if it doesn’t work out (and I don’t really think that it will) and amnesty Boozer. Now the Bulls will have gotten some flexibility to either become a player in free agency or re-sign key veterans to build around the new core of Rose,Gibson, Noah, Mirotic & the pick from the Charlotte (it will be around and it will be a lottery pick – I really believe that).

  5. BullsFAN says:

    here is what the bulls have to do to have a chance at a championship..
    1. sign kirk hinrich for a small salary…check..he will guide marquis teague and strengthen their roster while rose is out
    2. sign oj mayo…very underrated 2 guard that would tremendously help the bulls roster
    3. deal cj watson, ronnie brewer, and kyle korver anywhere for draft picks…second round, doesnt matter..these players are garbage who do not contribute to the roster positively in any way
    4. sign and trade deal for roy hibbert…trade noah and draft picks acquired from trade watson, brewer, and korver…hibbert is 20 times better than noah
    5. DO NOT sign omer asik…he should not be making $15 mil a year anywhere..he is very overrated and doesnt deserve a roster spot on the bulls
    6. Pick up a player like derek fisher who can give the team leadership and handle the ball well at the 1 guard..(1 year contract only so when drose comes back hell be gone)
    7. Pick up a PF/C who can come off the bench and grab rebounds
    8. Pick up any center who costs $5 mil or less

    that would make their roster
    PG: Drose (injured), Teague, Hinrich, and a pg who can lead the team and handle the ball
    SG: Hamilton and Mayo
    SF: Butler (very good defensively), Deng
    PF: Gibson, Boozer (TRASH), rebounding PF/C
    C: Hibbert, any c tht costs under $5mil

    • Ninep says:

      you are a moron…

      • BullsFAN says:

        how so? maybe the bulls are not able to pick up hibbert and trade noah…worst comes to worst instead of hibbert they have noah..because that part may be unrealistic…but i dont see why the other roster couldnt change like that…

  6. BullsFan911 says:

    Can the Bulls match Asik with a 5 year contract of 5M each year instead of 5/5/15M?

  7. Chicagoan Fan says:

    Asik is not worth the money, but the Bulls have this thing about loyalty and chemistry. Asik can work on his offensive game, but not for that kind of money do you keep him. You can find defense. We have defense, we need offense.

    Boozer is not overrated, but is overpaid. He is capable, but not consistent. The Bulls got really good really fast and Boozer like the rest of us had no clue Rose was that good and the team was on the brink greatness. Boozer game is average and you are not going to get anymore out of him than you’ve gotten.

    Stop the Deng discussion. There is no one else who is comparable in the league. Deng overachieved considering his hand. Stop trying to trade him

    Tradeable: Korver can’t hit the big shot in crunch time, Boozer:for Gasol we get more offense neither play defense, Asik:too much money not worth that much, Hamilton:why did we sign a guy who can’t keep healthy or keep up with Rose

    Needs:improve backcourt better outside consistent shooter

  8. C R says:

    Bball, if you read the entire article, if they resign Asik, that will only leave the Bulls 1 million dollars left before hitting the Luxury Tax and they still have 3 or 4 players to sign. You do the math wonder boy.

  9. Ahmet says:

    I have watched him for many years.I am talking about his days in Turkey and Turkish national team. It is true that he got his game better. BUT , only defensively. He needs to be a lot better on offense to deserve that 25 Million deal. In chicago , he isn’t even the 5th option on offense ! They play as if he is not on the court. All he do is screening and challenging for offensive rebound.. I wish I could say more positive things about him since he is representing my country there.. But , sadly , he is what he is..

  10. thug nasty says:

    tis is what hou needs to trade lowry/martin sign asik and try to get dwight

  11. gmoney says:


  12. Daniel says:

    i don’t get why everyone hates on Boozer i think he had a good playoffs and he is definitively growing into the system, also Asik is good defensively but he can’t do anything else he loses the ball half the time he gets it and he isn’t very strong.

  13. TheOutsider says:

    I think the Bulls would be crazy to match this especially if year 3 is $14.1 million as reported.

    I would much rather them wait and use the money in to keep TAJ and trying and sign a big free agent for the 2013/2014 season.

  14. LegendaryFan says:

    Let’s not forget that Asik gets into foul trouble very easily and can foul out the game in a heart beat, is that worth that kind of money?

  15. nba2k12 says:

    i hope all get signed except howard, let him play outside nba

  16. Mike says:

    Asik is a really great player, i think if he has 35-45 minutes, he can show that ‘s great player. Actually he’s offans not bad. he was the highest scorer in turkey in 2011 summer(europa champion)

    • DARRICK FLYE says:

      I have been reading these posts. And I came back to reply to this one because you seem to be the only one who really understands what this guy is bringing to the table. I GUESS THES NBA EXECUTIVES WHO ARE OFFERING HIM THIS MONEY…THEY ARE ALL PAID 100’S OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR TO BE IDIOTS!!! LOL.

      I just looked at this guys seasons stats. HE IS AVERAGES 5 REBOUNDS, 1 BLOCK SHOT A GAME, AND HE ONLY PLAYS 14 MIN A NIGHT. Give this guy 35 min per night on the floor. GO AHEAD….PULL OUT YOUR CACULATORS. The Rockets arent looking at him as a backup center. THIS GUY GETS TIME ON THE FLOOR, HE WILL DO THE SAME THING NOAH DOES. WHEREVER HE ENDS UP

  17. Chuck says:

    No reason for the Bulls to match. Backup center for 15 Million in the 3rd year, no thanks. He isn’t even worth the 8.5 Million a year that this contract averages out to over the length of the deal. This is a silly tactic, and shows you why the Rockets are spiralling downward.

  18. PWB says:

    Am I the only one who sees how this is way too much money for Asik? He has no offensive game. When he’s on the court, the defense is at a huge advantage, basically playing 5 on 4 if they can get back to his body box him out.

    • trade1 says:

      finally the voice of reasons.. right on.. AGREED… that would put chicago back as 3 players would be over 15mil like the big 3 in miami.. boozer, rose, asik, hardly a big 3.. lmao but getting paid like they are… hilarious..

  19. King d.p. says:

    The rockets should forget about asik and get javale McGee he’s a better defender and we saw what he did against Bynum in the playoff asik can be a good player but with about 20 or 30 added pounds of muscle work on his offensive game and some time to mature McGee can be an all star which asik can’t also we’re going to run an up an down offense so javale can run a lot better so he will be a perfect fit.

  20. BH says:

    We need a defensive minded center, and asik provides us that. However, we still have one more center to sing with us, and an offensive minded one would be great. Asik and camby are just good at the defensive end, we need to get better than that. Asik (probably) and an offensive minded one would be the ideal

  21. John Waters says:

    Just kidding I’m not an insider but ik Noah could

  22. bruno says:

    I also think that the rockets making this moves will tie up many of the elite teams in the salary cap limit, some of them will end up being 1/2 players short.

  23. bruno says:

    oh john, poor little chicago when playoffs came, 7 man rotation with no interior play except hibbert? You don’t expect noah or gibson to post up and be effective do you?

    dont think coach would agree on that kind of move.

    • John Waters says:

      Noah could defiantly post up however Gibson won’t be able to. I think Tom would be jumping for joy if they had that line up. I’m and nba insider so I think i know what’s going on wit the bulls.

    • John Waters says:

      Noah could defiantly post up however Gibson won’t be able to. I think Tom would be jumping for joy if they had that line up. I

  24. John Waters says:

    I don’t like the bulls thinking on this one there is some good free agents out there but none of them want 1 mil. We all know the bulls are going to match asik sadly. They need someone like (Allen, Mayo, Even maybe Hibbert.) If they wanted Hibbert would need to get rid of boozer with I have no probelm which and not sign korver which I also don’t care about.

    This Starting Lineup would be hard to beat
    PG: Rose
    SG: Hamilton ( they won’t get mayo or Allen if they get Hibbert)
    SF: Deng
    PF: Noah
    C: Hibbert

    Ik Noah doesn’t play PF but I’m sure he could just not match asik get ride of boozer and don’t sign korver or anyone wlse

    • Ron says:

      Philly will school them again…..hahaha

    • trade1 says:

      you sir have outlined the bulls problems financially magnificently… this is why they can’t improve and you will also lose 1 of your backup point guards from last year.. so no way they can duplicate their stellar performance this year without rose..

  25. William says:

    I think the chances of the Bulls matching are 50-50

  26. karoLT says:

    Rockets should trade for Josh Smith….

  27. mister says:

    Asik, a great defender??? duh????? Carlos Boozer is just a waste of money for the Bulls..he is not fit in the team’s system.. Carlos should go back to the Cavs..pathetic;..

  28. esord says:

    smart choice by the houston.. weakening a championship contender and strengthening their defense…

    • Bball247 says:

      They didn’t weaken anyone, bulls said they will match anyone that he’s a PRIORITY. Am I the only one who read the entire article? lol!

      • TTKIN says:

        Once again, A priority, not THE priority. They’ll probably go harder after a starting 2 than a backup 5. That being said, Im a huge fan of this Bulls roster and hope they can get a ring with it. What they did last year without Rose for much of the season was magical.

  29. pokie says:

    They could be signing him to a somewhat larger contract than he probably rates to help offset the size of the package (2 rookies, Kevin Martin, and Asik?) that Orlando is seeking in a trade for Dwight Howard? Just a thought.

  30. sman says:

    Houston is smart at whatever they do, omer asik is a great defender so we need him.

    • Bball247 says:

      Too bad you have a better chance at getting dwight than you do omer lol! Bulls will have 3 days to match and if they do(which they most likely will) he’s signed back on. You do know how restricted free agency works, don’t you? Lemme learn ya lol. All a team that has the player has to do is match what they signed for and they’re automatically theirs.

      • TTKIN says:

        Yes but an average of over 8 million per year for a backup is a lot so it’s not a lock the Bulls do that.

  31. Jeed says:

    Bulls must trade Boozer. He is weak and inconsistent. If he would be like Pippen, and Rose is healthy, Bulls is difficult to beat. Boozer is so overrated.

    • eddie57 says:

      Who the heck wants that underachiever. Once he got the BIG contract he wanted he was never the same. Way over rated. Maybe he is boozed.

    • Tony says:

      Overrated? He was a 2nd round pick. He’s exceeded all expectations. Also, the Bulls offensive scheme is nowhere near the same as the old Jazz system. Boozer is fine. It’s the Bulls’ fan base I worry about.

    • Alberto Levy says:

      Im with you,we got to trade boozer I dont know why we didnt go after amare instead.

      • BIGMatta23 says:

        Because Amare was on the hook for $100mill and his contract is uninsurable…that’s why. Only the Knicks would do something like that

  32. Andres says:

    Definitely not Dwight Howard, but Asik will give us some help on defense that we really, and we don’t lose anyone!

    • Bball247 says:

      Good knews, you won’t lose anyone. Bad news, because you will have lost omer to the bulls and dwight to the nets lmfaooooo! Sorry, couldn’t help myself. =)

    • Kevin says:

      I, as a Bulls fan, hope they dont pick up Asik and they dont amnesty Boozer. The Bulls should not match that offer!