Omer's role on the Bulls has shrunken with the outstanding play of Joakim Noah. Against Orlando, Omer played sparingly despite a matchup where his size would appear heavily favorable. In fact, half of his minutes were with Howard on the bench. With Luol Deng likely taking a few games off, Rip Hamilton likely out a month, and the trade deadline fast approaching, the question is are the Bulls really committed to Asik?
Is Asik's reduced playing time simply a function of Noah's great play? Perhaps. It makes sense given the level Noah has played at recently, especially since Omer has really struggled to produce much on the court. His defense is still solid, but he's been difficult to watch on offense and doesn't appear to have made much in the way of offensive improvements.
Omer still brings the ball down to load up for his dunk attempts at the basket, frequently causing him to get stripped in the paint. He still lacks the hands to reliably catch, turn, and dunk, and we haven't approached his game outside of the opportunity basket which is more or less non existent.
Occasionally he receives the ball on a cut and fluidly uses his two steps towards the hoop, and he gets his share of open dunks when the defense leaves him, but he's simply got to work on defining some type of strength on offense for next season.
Will Chicago be unable to afford Omer next year? What's the most he's really going to cost? A defensive center who plays 10 minutes a game and has no offensive skills? I think the worst case scenario is a team offering the full MLE. I'd use Marcin Gortat as the example comparison in this case.
Is it worth it for Chicago to match a full MLE on Omer? I appreciate his defensive strengths, but he's simply worth far more to a team with a greater need than he is to us. If the Bulls are limited by the luxury tax barrier [or how deep they'll go into it], then it's hard to imagine the team committing to both Omer and Gibson with Boozer and Noah on board at big money. They may eventually amnesty Boozer, but that's not likely to happen next season.
If Chicago can't afford him then trading him now makes some sense right? However, what are the Bulls going to get back in terms of trade value for Asik? Possibly Courtney Lee could come back, but it's worth noting that if the Bulls can't afford Omer next season that they may not be able to afford Lee either.
Getting guard help sounds fine now with C.J, Deng, and Rip out, but if they're healthy what the hell does a rotation of Watson, Brewer, Korver, Hamilton, and Lee do to split 62 minutes a game in the playoffs? You really five guys for those minutes? Even four guys is overkill. Lee isn't a notable improvement on those guys, he's just kind of a blend between Brewer and Korver.
In the end, the best lineup for Chicago in the playoffs is still to go with what they have and hope everyone is healthy. If the Bulls have significant injuries then they're probably done anyway. If not, then they're better off without the trade.
Maybe it makes sense to bring in Lee and remove both Korver/Brewer next year [non guaranteed contracts] and move forward with CJ, Lee, Rip, and Butler to fill in the wing minutes, if that's the case perhaps a trade helps long term, but it relies on the Bulls deciding they will match offers that Lee receives and hope the offers are reasonable.
In the end, it's hard for me to see Chicago commit heavily to Asik and refuse to trade him, but it's equally hard to find a trade that really helps the team defeat the Heat this season more so than having the extra big man depth would.