Rockets set their sights on Asik
June, 30, 2012
Steve Mitchell/US PresswireOmer Asik is offensively challenged, but teams like his size and defense.Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey didn't hide his free-agent intentions on Saturday as he solicited help through Twitter to help recruit Chicago Bulls restricted free-agent center Omer Asik.
Just before the free-agent market opened at 11 p.m. CT, Morey tweeted: Meeting w/Omer Asik in a few minutes -- tell him how much you want him to be in Houston! He will see your msg live - include #Asik2Houston
Bulls GM Gar Forman didn't tweet "We'll match," but he has said as much recently.
The maximum the Bulls, or any other team, could offer Asik in the first year is $5 million. Where the Rockets could really make it hurt for the Bulls is in years three and four. That's when they could offer Asik even greater financial stability and make it even more difficult for the Bulls to re-sign him.
Forman has made it clear that one of his top priorities was to re-sign Asik, but if Morey and the Rockets offer Asik much above the $5 million marker it will be tough for the Bulls to match given their lack of salary cap flexibility and the organization's uneasiness about going deep into the luxury tax.
Forman said after Thursday night's draft that the Bulls would be making basketball decisions, not financial ones, in reference to the salary cap. The issue for him now is that Morey's meeting, and his expected offer, becomes the worst of both worlds for the Bulls. If the Bulls decide not to match the Rockets' expected offer, Joakim Noah would be the only center on the Bulls' roster.
The offensively challenged Asik averaged just 3.1 points but pulled down 5.3 boards while averaging 14.7 minutes.
Nick Friedell contributed to this report.