This was expected, we were just waiting for it to become official.
It will on Tuesday — the Bulls will not match the three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet the Rockets gave center Omer Asik, reports K.C. Johnson at the Chicago Tribune. Asik will become a Rocket on the exact same deal that make Jeremy Lin a Rocket.
This clears the way for the Bulls to sign Kirk Hinrich and make other promised moves.
The Tribune reported on July 8 that Hinrich verbally agreed to a two-year deal, but it’s closer to $8 million in value, sources said…. The Bulls will add another shooting guard as well, with the imminent signing of Marco Belinelli for the biannual exception of $1.9 million.
We have noted that the Bulls have made moves like these that kind of tread water right now on the court but will all expire in the summer of 2014 (along with the deals of Luol Deng) and once you amnesty Carlos Boozer suddenly the Bulls have the money to go after a max-deal player to pair with Derrick Rose.
Ironically, while not really getting better this year on the court the Bulls will pay the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history. But just a few million, by using part of the mid-level exception on Hinrich and the biannual on Belinelli to go over the luxury tax threshold ($70 million) the Bulls put a hard cap on themselves of $74.3 million. They cannot exceed that. So they couldn’t bring back Asik.
He’s now a Rocket. And with their new deals Asik and Lin will now make close to $30 million combined in the 2014-15 season. That should be fun for Houston to find a way out of.