[Note by your friendly BullsBlogger, 12/13/11 1:48 PM CST: IMPORTANT note on this, thanks to @MudderFudder77on Twitter: As Asik is an 'early-bird' Free Agent (i.e. a RFA after only 2 years in the league), teams are restricted as to how much money they can offer him. This was called the Gilbert Arenas Provision in the last CBA, and I don't think it's changed: Asik can command a deal that has to start at MLE-level money for the first couple years, then he can get raises. So it'd still be a potentially substantial contract and give Bulls pause, but it wouldn't be Deandre Jordan money -yfbb]
[From the FanPosts. I teased this question in reference to the Deandre Jordan contract yesterday, and with Kwame Brown signing for $7m today it's even more apparent: Omer Asik is going to get a big offer sheet as a restricted free agent next summer, and if the Bulls stay a non-tax or dip-toes-in-tax team going forward, they may have to make a decision soon. -yfbb]
The Bulls have a big dilemma in their hands with the Turkish Colossus: should they keep him or should they trade him?
Asik proved to be a very reliable player, playing great D even when matched against guys like Dwight Howard. Add to that Boozer's and Noah's injury record and our need for the Istan-Bull becomes even more obvious. And who knows how much better he can be putting some points in the paint in his Asik & Destroy mode.
On the other hand, we have to ask ourselves: how long will the team keep Asik? Just look how much DeAndre Jordan and Marc Gasol made this offseason. Both will enter this season will more than 10M/year, leading me to think that teams could easily put 8M/year in Asik's hand. And that raises the question if the Bulls would be willing to pay him that much. My guess? They wouldn't.
If we trade Asik now we get something of value that we can afford, but probably not as good. So we would run half the season with an Asik-less team but with an asset for the long run. Or we could keep him and try to win now risking to lose him later for nothing.
Surely that is not the only option. The Bulls could keep Asik and lose 2, maybe 3, of it's role players (Korver and Brewer most likely) to avoid the luxury tax... and then the face a similar problem with Taj very soon.
Wade blocked by the Asik Wall!!! (via ImadoggyDogg)