Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo Sports has reported that Chicago Bulls restricted free agent center Omer Asik has agreed to an offer sheet from Houston that is worth $25.1 million over three years.
My initial reaction is that it really sounded absurd at first. But then we realize that DeAndre Jordan is making more than $10 million a season, Brendan Haywood is making more than $9 million a year, and Kwame Brown nearly made $7 million last season. While Asik averaged 3.1 points and 5.3 boards in nearly 15 minutes of play last season, he's a superb defensive player. He's a great cog in the middle and mobile enough to close out on wings.
The contract is backloaded. The third year of that deal has Asik making nearly $15 million but, according to the Gilbert Arenas Provision, Houston's cap hit isn't from each year of the contract but the average of the deal. So they'll take a cap hit of $8 million per season. It was structured as such to prevent Chicago from matching that deal. As the provision mentioned, the original team's cap hit will be in the actual salary (which Houston made as such) for each year (so Bulls would take a cap hit of $5 mil in first year, $5.2 mil in second year, and nearly $15 mil in third)... and there is no way Chicago can pay Asik that much green in 2014-15 with Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah on the books for that season.
So after some moments of examining, the contract is not the worst. And if it doesn't pan out, Asik will become a really valuable expiring contract. Now let's see how this plays out for the rest of the big men in the league now that Asik's market value was set (hello, Robin Lopez!).
The deal is expected to be signed on the 11th of July, when the league moritarium ends and NBA teams may begin free agent signings and do trades. Then Chicago has three days (until the 14th of July) to match the offer Houston made.
I highly doubt the Bulls match.
Thanks to Larry Coon for the SALARY CAP FAQ.