The Chicago Bulls had to make some difficult decisions last offseason in deciding which of their bench players they were going to keep around while staying below the salary cap and avoiding paying the luxury tax. There is one player that the Bulls really wish now that they could have kept in Omer Asik. Asik signed with the Houston Rockets, who put a salary in Asik’s three-year contract that made it impossible for Chicago to match the offer.
Asik went back to Chicago on Christmas to face his former team and put up a dominating 20-point, 18-rebound performance to help Houston pound the Bulls. Asik was part of the famed “Bench Mob” for Chicago the last two seasons and the Bulls would have loved to re-signed him but Houston’s offer was just too much. That is costing the Bulls dearly now as Chicago hangs around the .500 mark without Derrick Rose, who should be back in a couple months. Asik would have at least gave the team an inside threat off the bench which it doesn’t have now.
Asik will continue to improve in Houston and has a double-double in his last three games, proving that he is more than just a bench player as Asik has started 27 games for the Rockets this season. It is a move that Chicago couldn’t avoid but now looks back on and wishes there was something they would have done, like giving Asik an extension before free-agency hit. The Bulls will be seeing Asik become a solid center now while in Houston for the next number of years.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.