Howard to the Rockets, Asik wants out

Dwight Howard has officially decided to join the Houston Rockets, and Omer Asik doesn't want to play eight minutes a night as Dwight's back up. Any chance for a Chicago reunion for Asik?

Would the Rockets take newly extended Taj Gibson in trade for Omer? Both will have similar cap hits though Omer will actually be paid more salary (five million this year and 15 million next year despite cap hits of 8.3 million both years). The move would give the Bulls more size as well as a competent back up center.

While Chicago would then be relying heavily on Boozer at PF, it's easier to promote Luol Deng to play big than it is to find another center. With extra depth at SF in Dunleavy and Butler, Chicago could afford the minutes for Deng to play at the four. Whether or not Deng can afford the physical punishment of playing big minutes at the four is another matter.

In general, it's easier to find another four than another five though, so if the Bulls err on the side of being bigger there would obviously be worse positions to be in. That said, Gibson might be a dicey fit for the Rockets as they're looking to bring back Ryan Anderson from the Pelicans in an Asik trade. It's a move that theoretically helps balance out both rosters, but one the Pelicans may not be all that in to.

There's also some talk amongst Bulls fans that Chicago could swap Gibson for Asik and then open up the path to trade Noah for Aldridge with Portland. The combined deals only really make sense to me if you're banking on Noah being hurt, but he's struggled with injuries the past few seasons. There's also no guarantee that Portland is in on the move.

Beyond trading with Houston directly, Chicago could try and get into the mix in a S&T scenario with Josh Smith to the Rockets where Asik is involved and see if they can swap in Gibson to the Hawks. It's difficult to say how other teams would view such a scenario. Either way, the odds of the Bulls bringing back Asik seem awfully slim, and the roster permutations where he's back but other assets are moved out for him don't seem better than what they have now. Just different.

If Chicago could add Asik for say Kirk Hinrich and Rip Hamilton while bringing back Nate Robinson it'd be a pretty sweet deal. However, besides the fact that Houston may not be so interested in such a move, the Bulls may not be interested in paying so much salary. Chicago would also have to hope Nate would agree to their minimum contract.

That said, if Nate isn't getting a better offer elsewhere, moving Kirk to ensure a role for him likely ensures he's back next year on the minimum here vs the minimum somewhere else. It really depends whether Nate has enticed anyone else into paying him after last season's play.

The end scenario is likely that Chicago can't find a permutation that fits for itself and for the other team, but it's at least interesting to see what could happen with the former Bull.


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  • Doesn't Asik realize that it's only a matter of time before Howard is injured again?

  • Doug, making the trade for Asik, then moving Noah for LMA is the perfect move. Omer is arguably a better defender than Noah right now, and with his improved FT shooting, he's not a total offensive liability. We all love Noah, but if Chicago could flip Taj for Omer, then move Noah and Deng for LMA and Wes Matthews, I'm not sure how we can turn that works perfectly for all 3 teams......

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    That wouldn't be a good move in trading Noah. He can at least hit the 15ft. jumper from time to time and Asik is extremely prone to getting into foul trouble. Noah is more mobile than Asik, he's an exceptional passer for a big man and he is the heart and energy for this Bulls team. With Nate possibly not returning the bulls will need someone to have energy on the team.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    First, Nobody would argue Omer is th better defender than Noah. The 3-way trade makes sense, except I don't see HOU having any need for Taj.

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    In reply to Dajody1:

    Well...I think trading our most loyal and current "Best player" is a mistake. I don't believe LMA is better than a healthy Noah either, but I would love to unload Deng+Boozer+??? to pair LMA with Noah. LMA would love the size adv, and Noah would have his back. Butler has pushed Deng to trade status...I believe.

  • In reply to MerriwxOne:

    You're not going to get LMA for Deng/Boozer.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    how about LMA, Matthews for Deng, Taj, Mirotic, charlotte pick, and our 1st and 2nd pick next year ? i think this is a good package for blazers. they got a veteran all star in deng, a decent backup PF in taj, a rising star PF in mirotic, and 3 picks for future assets.

  • In reply to CoolWind:

    You forgot to throw in Rose, he'd be a good fit in the Rose Garden too.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    Interesting, that now everybody is willing to trade Taj for Asik, 2 years ago when the debate was over who to sign, I was just about the only one who said that it was a no brainer, you keep the 7 footer who can actually play.

    Doug, you in particular gave me a pretty hard time, saying that it was a no brainer the other way around.

    To bad that we didn't trade Asik for Courtney Lee, like everybody wanted, anybody seen Lee anywhere but on the back of a milk carton lately.

  • the league has an over supply of 6'9" power forwards but legit 7 footers are hard to find, thats why teams were ringing the phone off to get an Asik trade done with Atlanta and New Orleans deeply interested. The Bulls were stupid to let go of Asik, another valuable asset which could of been packaged for a scorer in a trade(for LaMarcus Aldridge for example). They trained the guy for several years, bulked him up, he had his surgery in Chicago,etc only to let him walk because of money concerns? Ron Adams and Thibodeau who worked night and day to make Asik the defender he is, have every right to be furious with Gar and ownership. Winning teams don't make those moves. Hey GarPax ball of mediocrity, instead of picking fights with the coaching staff, figure out how to manage a roster and not letting assets bleed. Teams in the east are loading up and getting better, NY, Brooklyn, Indiana and the Bulls are in a "holding pattern" " treading water". What is this holding pattern? waiting for a hardcap?

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Let's see what Asik grabs in trade before we scream about how valuable he is in trade.

    What has NY loaded up with? How about Indy? As far as I can tell both teams just resigned their guys. Brooklyn loaded up with two guys older than 35 at the cost of three unconditional 1sts, we'll see how it works for them.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    there's only one thing that i don't understand about bulls FO decision in the past. instead of letting asik walk away for free. why don't they trade away taj. certainly having a 7 ft Center is much better than 6'9 ft PF. gar/pax give could give taj a 4 year/33million. but they couldn't give asik a 3 year/25million ? the excuse to maintain flexibility for big splash in 2014 ? screw that. here's the list : pierce, nowitzki, bryant, gasol, allen, wade, duncan (too old), bogut, amare (injury prone), granger, zach randolph, gay (not good enough), LBJ (we don't need a flopper). only melo that is worth trying to get. and the rest is a tons of RFA that only will match whatever money we offer. bottom line is that our FO are sucks

  • I loved Asik as much as anyone, but I can't see anything happening. If Asik doesn't want to back up Howard why would he want to back up Noah? And I would not take Asik over Noah either. Does anyone realize how much the offense runs through Noah? He is maybe the best passing big in the league, a top notch rebounder, and can score around the basket. He is also a kind of leader that Asik just can't match. I would love to have Asik on my team, but when they already have Noah it would be a down grade.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    Well, they could run the offense through that Derrick Rose guy too.

    I see your point, but if LMA can be had for Noah, while bringing in Asik that is a no-brainer. I love Jo, and he's more mobile than Asik...but Omer is much better as a rim protector and a more disciplined defender who won't get caught out of position as much.

  • In reply to JPesos1230: long as we still have all 5 starting positions filled post trade, I can't see how Chicago would turn this down.....Rose / Matthews / Deng or Butler / LMA / Asik......length, scoring, and youth.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    They would turn it down easily.

    Trading back for Asik would mean they were wrong in the first place by letting Asik go, and with this arrogant/stubborn franchise who just fired an assistant coach because he told them they shouldn't have let Asik go, they're definitely not going to admit they were wrong.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Agreed 100%, the Bulls management are complete ass hats and know nothing about making a big splash for the team. They are best suited for making draft picks, signing minimal salary players and over valuing mediocre players. The owner has indeed changed since Jordan left and has no pressure put upon him to win another championship...with his basketball team anyway. His passion is his beloved White Sox baseball team that continues to lose and is now in rebuilding mode. I said 3 years ago that the Bulls offense stinks even with Rose in the lineup and I'm saying this now... Derrick Rose will leave the Bulls when his contract ends if the Bulls FO situation doesn't change. There's too many negatives in the Bulls FO right now and not all of the right moves are being made by management.

  • In reply to JPesos1230:

    What I mean by running the offense through Noah is that he can pass from the top of the key and hit the cutters. And when Rose is double teamed in the back court, Noah gets the ball at mid court and can take the ball to the basket. It completely breaks the defensive pressure.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    No it doesn't completely break the defensive pressure because defenses don't bother to guard Noah when he's away from the basket. And rightfully so...

    - Noah cannot reliably hit a 15-20 foot jumpshot.
    - Noah cannot hit a pullup jumper ever, he never even takes them.
    - Noah cannot shoot a turn-around jumper, he never takes them.

    And I am being charitable calling Noah's shot a jumper. In truth, it is a two-handed set shot, which is why he can't take a pullup or turnaround.

  • In reply to Edward:

    if he has nobody guarding him and he gets the ball into the front court then the pressure is broken, right?

    How many centers take pull up jump shots or turn-around jumpers?

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    No the pressure isn't completely broken because the defense is still playing 5 on 4. No one who can score is open, only someone who cannot score. This same lack of a jump shot also lessens Noah's effectiveness setting picks. It's unfortunate Noah never learned to shoot a basketball.

    None that have a two-handed set shot.
    ff the top-of-my-head, the Gasol brothers Marc and Pau have nice jump shots. Others include Spencer Hawes, Al Jefferson, Brook Lopez, Greg Monroe, Samuel Dalembert. This list is my no means complete.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    The thought/discusion is not swapping out Asik for Noah. It is swapping out Noah and the BozoHole for Asik and Aldridge.

    No one wants to trade Noah, but he is our best asset OTR, and if we are going to get a big offensive upgrade it will have to be at the cost of Noah. But until we have a quality backup ready to step in as a starter, trading Noah doesn't make us better.

  • I don't see the Bulls doing anything. They love and overvalue their players too much to make any moves that ever make sense.

  • Can forget about josh smith to rockets rumors. He signed with pistons

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Yeah, crazy deal there. I'd bet Detroit will regret that and be willing to dump him for an expiring within a year.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    They really learnt nothing from the Charlie V & Ben Gordon debacle.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Josh Smith, issues and all is a vastly better player than either one of those bums.

  • I keep seeing people write that Asik is a better rim protector and defender than Noah. That is not true at all. First, Noah is out of position only because he has to guard Boozer's man at the same time. Second, Noah blocked 2.1 shots compared to Asik's 1.1. Noah's steals are 1.2 to Asik's .6. Asik is a really good defender, but Noah is (in my opinion) the best defensive center in the league.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    yeah. i agree with you. asik only have a better physic and better frame build than noah. noah only downside is that he is too lanky for a C to compete in a physical NBA

  • Hearing that bulls want to sign antwan Jamison for the minimums. Why all the power fowards? Don't we need a backup center for Noah? Maybe there are going to make a trade

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Antawn Jamison's a capable offensive player. He'd be a nice addition given we don't have a lot of offensive oriented bigs. We could use a backup center, but there are no talented ones.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I thought about Jamison as a Bull everytime I watched a Laker game last season. He is streaky, but he is still a very potent scorer, especially going up against second teamers.

  • Of the last eight NBA Champions six of them had an alpha stud scorer of 27ppg or more in the Finals. The other two were the Celtics and the Spurs. So only one team in the last 8 champions won with a high scoring point guard and only then when accompanied by a HOF big in Duncan averaging well over 20ppg.

    People can whine about an offense that stinks and Miami hogging the championships, but the fact is we need a second scorer above the height of 6'5. Period.

    Right now we finally have one that wants to to come to the Bulls. LaMarcus Aldridge. This guy is a solid attitude personality and competitor including in the playoffs. Under Thibs his defense will be a plus. And were knocking that trade to retain a guy who is injured every year and every playoffs. Noah shot 41 and 43% as a big(!) in two of the last three playoffs. Loyal to Joakim I get that. But then don't bitch about the offense or Miami winning etc. because we had our chance. And this isn't damaged goods like Utah couldn't wait to unload in Boozer. Regardless as many have said, Bulls in Gar/Pax could and never would pull off this deal. Sucks to be a Bulls fan(if you want multiple legit scorers and entertaining offense to watch that is).

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I'd hardly call Aldridge an alpha stud scoring big man. I think that's radically overstating his offensive ability.

    I agree that it's tough to win behind a superstar guard, but it's what we have.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Anyone have any idea what Noah's field goal percentage was in the playoffs.

    I hear that there is a direct correlation between that one single stat and teams winning a championship.

    In fact even if that player is the best team defender in the league, you cannot overcome his poor shooting percentage.

  • Just a question - if we did get Omer back (unlikely, I know), could he get his extra minutes by Jo backing up at the power forward position - Taj's minutes, if he were part of the trade? Could the Bulls operate with low-scoring Twin Towers up front for 16 - 20 minutes a game? The defense would be awesome... just dreaming, I'm sure...

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    I think we are over-valuing Asik a bit here....remember, he left us! I don't like the idea of sending good quality to the Rockets , because Asik is not happy with his new role. He would accept a back up role in Chicago, but not Houston???? Bottom line...Bulls mgt should be working on a deal to pair Aldridge and Noah together. The problem is Boozer...he can't stay consistent, and I think we need to unload him before we are stuck with him. I like Deng, but a Deng + Boozer package might entice Portland to make that deal.

  • In reply to MerriwxOne:

    It appears that we were stuck with him even before that ink dried on his signature on the contract documents.

  • Honestly, if the Bulls did pull off an Aldridge trade, I doubt anybody(for long) would be bitching about losing Noah. But.. we know it will never happen.

    Fantasyland: Noah AND Aldridge with an effective Rose 20+ppg. Watching every Bulls game and getting tickets to one or two games minimum. ECF and potential Miami takedown.

    Gar/Pax Aldridge WANTS to come to Chicago. Rose and Aldridge share the same agent. Gar/Pax WTF are you doing?! You ssuccck. You really do. Suck I mean

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I'd be a bit cautious on Aldridge "wants" to come to Chicago. It's been stated by one reporter in one note, I don't know that I'd get too crazy over the accuracy of such a claim.

  • Bulls fans, PLEASE CALM DOWN WITH ASIK!!! Watched him often this year, and he's the SAME player he was with the Bulls. The difference is more minutes and a bigger role. He's the only worthwhile bigman on that team, so he gets all the boards, and some inside buckets. Still a goof, still can't catch, dribble,shoot, or do anything other than play above average D, and rebound. Like the guy, but he's a below average starter C. Calm down!

  • In reply to retrodman:

    Can you even name 15 starting NBA centers.

  • and this "Asik is a better defender than Noah" garbage is making me sick! Noah defends all over the court, calls everyone's assignment, pushes others into position and more. Watch youtube videos about Noah's defense. Asik is a tall dude who can stand straight up, that's about it. He's good, but not Noah good. If you put Taj on a team with no Power Forward, his #s would jump the same as Asik's did last year. Does that make him great? No!

  • In reply to retrodman:

    They are different type of defenders so it is hard to say one is better than the other. Asik is the rim protector. Noah uses his quickness as an on the ball and switching or more of a perimeter type defender. They are both better than the other at what they do. Asik has a lot of upside being so young and already a top tier defender (23 I think).

  • I think that Asik would be ok coming here with Noah because he understands how Thibs will work the rotations. Thibs had no problem leaving Omer in for the entire 4th quarter when he was here.

    Who knows if Mirotic will ever come over and if he does when that will be, but where does he play if we have Aldridge on the roster? Aldridge might be the best PF in the game right now and I can not imagine a rookie getting much playing time, even if that rookie has been the best Euro in the world for a few years.

    As a side note, IF NOLA would trade Eric Gordon for Deng would you do that trade? It is a big IF but if Gordon stops being injured (I wonder how much is because he doesn't want to be in New Orleans) he is a really good SG. 3 years ago there is no way that we get him for Deng but now it would not shock me considering how down the New Orleans franchise is on him.

  • In reply to do53:

    Eric Gordon is just what the Bulls need, they can have an entire starting backcourt who would rather sit on the bench in a suit and collect their cheque than play basketball.

  • SO let me get this straight, Houston will now flip Asik for a quality starter but the Bulls front office let him walk for nothing? Am I missing something or is that just stupid?

  • In reply to takdan:

    The Bulls didn't have any options to S&T Asik because they couldn't offer him as much as Houston did.

    If they were going to flip him they would have had to do it in the season, however, at that point in time, the Bulls felt they were on track to have a very good shot to win the NBA title and dumping Asik while attempting to win the NBA title would have been stupid.

    The contract he has with Houston is also more palatable than the one they would have had with Chicago would have been because he's now worth 8.3/8.3 on the cap but would have been 5/15 if Chicago matched.

  • I have an important question regarding Asik's contract.
    For Bulls matching would have meant payments of $5 - $5 - $15 million for both salary payment and for purposes of salary cap and luxury tax calculations. I believe we know this is correct.

    For Houston, we know Asik's contract meant $8.3 - $8.3 - $8.3 for salary cap and luxury tax calculations. But what is the actual salary payment Houston makes to Asik? Is it 5/5/15 or 8.3/8.3/8.3? I believe Houston actually pays Asik 5/5/15.

    The followup up questions are, if Houston trades Asik what is the new team's situation? For the 2nd and 3rd years of Asik's contract what does the new team pay in salary and how does the new team calculate its salary cap and luxury tax?

    Finally, if Bulls had matched Asik and traded him in now in 2013, what is the new team's situation? For the 2nd and 3rd years of Asik's contract what does the new team pay and how does the new team calculate its salary cap and luxury tax?

    Could it be that a new team trading for Asik would be obligated to pay Asik two years at $5 and $15 million from either Bulls or Houston, but have a salary cap and luxury tax treatment of 8.3/8.3 if traded from Houston - and 5/15 if traded from Bulls?

    If so, I'm thinking this could negatively affect Asik's value as a tradeable asset had Bulls matched because the new team would potentially face a significant luxury tax penalty in the 3rd year if traded from Bulls, but not if traded from Houston.

    Does anyone know these answers for sure? We can't speculate.

  • In reply to Edward:

    No matter what it stays 8/8/8 for cap purposes and 5/5/15 for payment.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Sorry, should have left a reference: footnote 4:

    If a player signed pursuant to the Gilbert Arenas provision is later traded, his trade value is equivalent to his cap amount, and new team inherets the same cap hit as the team that traded him. In other words, if the player goes to the team submitting the offer sheet and that team later trades him, the average salary of the contract is charged to his new team's cap. If instead the player's original team matches the offer sheet, keeps the player, and subsequently trades him, the player's actual salary is charged to his new team's cap.

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