In a triumphant return to the team that introduced him to the NBA, Omer Asik made the Chicago Bulls eat quite a bit of crow this Christmas. A 120-97 win for the Houston Rockets improved them to 15-12 for the season and mainly due to the production of Asik. 20 points and 18 rebounds later the Bulls are thinking twice about not mathcing the Rockets 3 year $25.1M offer for Asik.
While GM Gar Forman can not play the “What if” game only seventeen games into the season, the move may spark inquiry for years to come.
What is perhaps the most puzzling is the money that the club shelled out to PF Taj Gibson. The $38M over 4 years that Gibson recieved could have definitely been used towards matching Asik’s offer sheet. Through less than 20 games the comparision isn’t even close. Gibson is averaging 6.2 points with 4.4 rebounds while Asik is averaging a double double with 10.9 points and 11.6 rebounds a night.
Asik is getting much more playing time in Houston as he is the starter as opposed to the bench role he saw in Chicago due to Joakim Noah’s stature. Minus Derrick Rose the Bulls are lost, and thats understandable. With big money wrapped around both Carlos Boozer and Noah perhaps the Bulls didn’t want too much cash in the frontcourt. Either way, Gibson has not held up his end of the bargain since getting paid.
A dependable 7 footer is increasingly hard to find, and the Rockets may have struckgold with the two year pro out of Turkey. However, time will tell which franchise got the best out these collective moves.