Quality big men are at a premium in the NBA and so any time one comes on the market teams have to overpay to keep them. See DeAndre Jordan’s contract.
It will not be that rich, but the same principle is in play with the the Bulls this summer and Omer Asik. The Turkish big man has played limited minutes the last couple years with the Bulls (just shy of 15 minutes a game last year) but the potential for his role to grow is there.
Other teams see that too and may make a run at the restricted free agent, but the Bulls plan to match because they want to keep their core together, reports Aggrey Sam at CSNChicago.com.
According to the same source, the rest of the team’s “core”– starters Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Richard Hamilton, center Joakim Noah and power forward Carlos Boozer, as well as reserve big men Taj Gibson and Omer Asik, the latter of whom is a restricted free agent this summer, though the Bulls are likely to match any offers for him from opposing teams–is “safe,” though team management will surely at least listen to trade offers.
This is the smart play by the Bulls. This is a very good team, and while we can debate if they can beat the Heat in the playoffs this is not a team where you make moves just to make moves. They may make a run at a name point guard to play while Rose is out, but they will not overdo it.
And Asik could evolve into a solid NBA center. You keep him.