CHICAGO – The Bulls face a big decision regarding the biggest player on their roster.
Restricted free agent Omer Asik agreed to sign an offer sheet for a three-year, $25.1 million deal with the Houston Rockets on Sunday, according to a report by Yahoo Sports. Asik, who turns 26 Wednesday, reportedly will sign the offer sheet July 11, which will give the Bulls three days to decide whether to match the deal or lose him to Houston.
In Asik, the Rockets see a player with untapped potential.
The 7-foot, 255-pound center has averaged 2.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 13.2 minutes a game in his first two NBA seasons. He is a skilled defender but has struggled to do much on offense besides score the occasional put-back or easy dunk.
The Bulls entered the offseason with hopes of retaining Asik as a backup to Joakim Noah, but the Rockets’ offer probably will be too much to match. Noah is one of four Bulls players who will earn $10 million or more next season, and it’s unlikely that the Bulls will spend $8.3 million a year on a backup center.
The Bulls badly need help on the perimeter and could target a veteran guard such as Kirk Hinrich through free agency. Hinrich played his first seven seasons with the Bulls and could serve both as a fill-in for injured guard Derrick Rose and as a mentor for rookie first-round pick Marquis Teague.
Teague is scheduled to be introduced today at the Berto Center.