# Chicago Bulls Confidential

## What to do with Omer's three year 25.1 million dollar offer

Omer’s contract offer will test the Bulls seriousness in paying for a winner. If the Bulls are willing to pay the tax and do whatever it takes to win, then this is a pretty easy deal to match. If not, then this is a pretty difficult deal to match.

I’m not quite sure how the math works out on the offer can be 25.1 million, but Houston is clearly offering Asik the maximum legal amount over three years. My math comes out to something like this:

Year 1 – Roughly 5 million
Year 2 – Roughly 5.23 million (4.5% raise)
Year 3 – Roughly 14.11 million (12.922 * 1.045 * 1.045 represents max value * two max raises)

24.34 million

However, I’m guessing the max contract will be slightly higher than the 12.9 million I’m using which is last year’s number or the MLE is expected to raise slightly. Either way, I think it’s fair to assume that however the math works out exactly the number is accurate. I’ve wrote it a few times, but if you’re unfamiliar with why the contract looks so odd, it is the “Gilbert Arenas” provision.

Long ago, Gilbert Arenas was a restricted free agent who played his way into a near max deal. The Golden State Warriors badly wanted to keep him, but with only early bird rights they could only match a deal that they could fit under the salary cap. To rectify this, the league made up the Gilbert Arenas provision so that teams can not offer restricted free agents deals their original team could not match.

The first two years had to be at MLE prices (why the second year we won’t know, but it seems to do nothing other than screw over the player, in fact the sensible thing to do is to get rid of bird rights all together and make it so you can simply go over the cap to pay any player who was on your team the previous season). At any rate, in the third season the salary can jump the maximum allowable salary of what the player would make in the third year of a real max contract (presuming the signing team has cap room).

The contract average then has to fit in the cap room of the offering team (in this case slightly over 8 million).

Should the Bulls match this contract? Well, Omer’s on a very reasonable deal for years one and two. At five million per season, he’s a tremendous defensive presence. I think Chicago would have no problem paying him that rate for his ability even if he remains a 20 minute per night back up.

The third year, he jumps up to a 15 million dollar expiring contract which can be used to match salaries in trades and attempt to bring in a star player. Granted, under the new CBA the value of expirings is likely to decrease substantially as the salary matching rules have lessened considerably. However, if the Bulls are over the tax, the salary matching rules are far more strict so having that 15 million dollar deal might be necessary in order to match a trade for a star.

All in all, three years 25 million isn’t a crazy deal for Asik overall, and the actual timing of the payments isn’t particularly poisonous to Chicago either. In his one very heavy year, the Bulls are generally expected to bring over Nikola Mirotic as well as amnesty Carlos Boozer while Luol Deng will be off the books [though possibly will resign with Chicago and depending on how things go in the next couple seasons will determine the price and whether that happens].

If Chicago is willing to pay the tax this year, then they can make out a very good team simply by keeping C.J. Watson, signing Brandon Rush, and keeping Omer. When Derrick Rose is back healthy, this squad would compete with last year’s squad while likely sitting around five to six million into the luxury tax.

Of course, this will put Chicago in a tough spot with Boozer next season. If the Bulls keep him, they’ll definitely be in the tax then as well and though C.J. Watson falls off the books, the raises everyone else gets from yearly increases will chew up his salary while the Bulls will owe Taj Gibson a substantial raise which means they’ll likely be sitting around 10 million into the tax if they don’t amnesty Boozer.

They’ll also have a much tougher time in year three keeping Luol Deng while staying out of the luxury tax. Keeping a quality team together at this point makes the repeater tax seem far more likely even if Chicago isn’t scheduled to go deep into the tax in any given year.

Quite frankly, paying that amount of tax SHOULD be a no brainer relative to the profit margin and revenues of the team. They are banking serious cash, and even if they pay a bunch of tax over the next three seasons, they’ll likely be in the top three in terms of profits in the NBA. However, ownership needs to give clear guidance as to their tax tolerance, because Omer is the player you want to let go if someone has to leave over the tax.

If you’re going to get squeamish over the bill later, you have to decide that up front rather than losing Gibson or Deng in the next couple of seasons. If the Bulls are truly willing to spend, this is a great deal for them. Cheap salary, cheap salary, massive expiring they can use as trade value to bring in a star. If they aren’t willing to spend the final year is enough to make them let Asik go.

The Bulls can pursue an alternate course as well. They could tell Houston they intend to match, but they have reservations and for a first round pick they’ll let him go and work out a S&T. Once an official offer sheet is signed this option is off the table, but the July moratorium means needs no official offer sheets can be signed until July 11th. As such, while this is an oral agreement between Asik and the Rockets, the teams can meet to restructure it.

This move allows the Bulls to save face on Asik and get something of value back for him. In this case, they can go back to the fan base without looking to cheap to try and win and have some type of asset to help add a quality player down the line. Quite frankly, I’d be happy with this solution as well. I love Asik, and you can never have enough defensive big men, but with Noah and Gibson both being considerably better, I’d rather allocate more money to the backcourt or an offensive oriented big man than a third defensive big.

Getting the draft pick will limit the team this coming year somewhat as they’ll be weaker for having lost Asik, but I think the Bulls best chance to win starts in the 2014-15 season and adding draft picks probably enhances rather than reduces that window. If Houston is unwilling to do a S&T then I’d hope Chicago has enough power from ownership to ensure luxury tax payment and keep Asik to maximize the team quality.

Filed under: Free Agency, Salary cap

• Can't see the Bulls matching the offer. I'd much rather pay Taj than Asik and, matching this offer will make it more difficult to keep Taj.

Think the Bulls could make a S&T and then use all or part of the trade exception on Przybilla? for 10 mins a night, he may be an option.

Only way we get any players/anything of value from Houston in a S&T would involve giving up Mirotic or the CHA pick, in my opinion.

I think you could get a second rounder and a TPE by taking the doubt out of Houston's mind and doing a S&T.

In terms of paying Taj and Asik, I agree if it's one or the other then you keep Taj. However, I don't think it has to be one or the other.

• Let the Turkish Tyson Chandler go. Can't hit free throws and he really didn't improve last season I don't understand this obsession with Omer. He's tall and puts his hands straight up I get it he changes some shots but....

If you can get Courtney Lee my God do that.

No Kirk Hinrich please! He just swings the ball on the wings now I watched him in the playoffs his skills have really diminished. If it's between Kirk or CJ you gotta keep CJ I guess I'm not a huge fan of either but yeah CJ.

I don't know I can't figure out the Bulls anymore. I just don't understand their direction here.

Yeah because Lee's 12 points a game would make us a contender....

Omer's an elite defender, that's where the obsession is. He does a lot more than "tall and putting his hands straight up". He's a big time intimidator in the lane.

Supposedly the Bulls offered Hinrich between 1.5-2.5 million, I think he's a good player for that price, but yeah that's not saying much as most guys at that price are non rotation players.

• The reasoning behind two years at the MLE is a convoluted mechanism to make it look like the rookie scale doesn't screw over the #1 pick quite as much as it does. It's bad enough they're forced to sign a 4 year deal at below market rates, it'd be worse if second rounders were earning the max while they're stuck on below market rates.

If the Bulls are going over the tax I think matching the offer sheet should only be a backup plan, plan A should be to use that flexibility to attempt to trade the non-guaranteed contracts. Of course we all know they're not going over the tax, since there has been zero talk that the Bulls are interested in plan A.

• I think you have to pay for Omer and continue to compile assets. There will come a time when a trade will present itself for a star player, and we need to be properly prepared for that situation.

And that doesn't even mean trading Omer. If a team wants Noah, we need to be able to give them Noah without killing our frontcourt. We're not gonna get better by playing the capspace game again.

Letting Omer walk, or trading him for an exception does nothing for us. Taj, Omer, Noah, Deng, Butler, Teague, these guys aren't just players, they're assets that have taken you years to assemble. They have to be used to make the team better (along with the Charlotte pick and Mirotic).

The front office has positioned the team very well. Gar and Pax deserve some credit. But now they need the green light to use all of these assets as they see fit. Which may mean keeping some guys you might not want to keep, and paying the tax in the short term.

If you're willing to pay the tax you keep Omer. However if keeping Omer forces you to give up Noah or Taj later then you let Omer go now.

I agree that it'd be best to keep him as an asset, but only if it doesn't mean losing a better asset. Only Jerry Reinsdorf knows how much tax he's willing to pay.

Juiceboxjerry, I was waiting patiently for you to make your appearance on this blog.

Guys, let me start out by labeling this guy a cancer. He hates Noah and whenever he gets a chance he slips in the knife and slowly turns it. As all of you know, I'm a big Noah fan and I know all his enemies, and Juiceboxjerry is a big one. So big that he's not satisfied with killing him on that other blog where he goes Noah-hate crazy whenever he can.
He thinks he's clever when he slips in the knife, of so delicately. But I've seen him at his most brutal, and this guy is brutal! Believe you me!

What he's advocating is simple. Prepare to give a team Noah if it enables the Bulls to retain Omer.
And to show you how wierd this guy is, he's a big fan of Carlos Boozer and while the world is expressing disgust with the play of Boozer, he's defending Boozer and finding ways to say he should remain on the team.
That's what we're dealing with, a PSYCHO!
So fans on this blog, if you think I'm making this up go on that other blog and follow his hate for Noah.

• Wow, seems like just last week people around here were killing the bulls for not taking on BG's ridiculous contract for the small chance at a decent lottery pick in two to three years. Is there any chance the bulls match if they had that contract on their books now killing their cap space?

And are you sure that Asik's deal could be structured like that? I thought there were provisions about what the maximum raise could be year to year. If that is how it is structured, then I don't see how they don't sign it because it goes from fairly reasonable to a large expiring. If the Bulls don't at least get a pick out this situation, then yeah, they are playing it cheap and not particularly well.

BG's deal was horrible and really long. Asik is worth 5 mil a year for the next two seasons that is very reasonable. His last year it balloons but it will be an expiring deal so much more tolerable.

The Gilbert Arenas provision breaks the standard raise. In this case the most a team can offer is 5 million, 5.2 million, MAX, MAX.

Houston is offering 5 million, 5.2 million, MAX which will count as eight million per year each year for them while counting as 5, 5.2, 14.x for the Bulls, I think the 25.1 million is a bit high, but MAX hasn't yet been defined for this season.

If Omer does indeed sign the Rockets' offer sheet on July 11, can the Bulls present a different contract to Omer or only one with the same exact terms?

That is, could the Bulls in theory offer fours years, instead of three, and split it 5/5/9/9 (28 total) or something similar?

Once the offer sheet is signed you can only match that contract. The only way it can change is if all parties agree to tear it up. Somehow I doubt Houston is going to agree to that in order to make the contract more comfortable for the Bulls.

Makes sense, thanks.

While the Bulls can match a 5/5/15 offer with early bird rights, they couldn't make that offer themselves anyway.

The most the Bulls can offer is the MLE starting at 5 million with 4.5% raises. So Asik actually needed to get another team to make him an offer in order to get more money than that.

However, everything Shakes said is also true. Once an offersheet is signed all that can happen is the Bulls can match/not match.

They can counter offer or do a S&T up until that point during the moratorium.

• I'd match because the last year is an expiring deal. A team in need of a center would take on that last year. Big 7 foot centers with good feet/defensive skills are hard to come by. The thing to me is the Deng situation and Gibson situation. Gerald Wallace who is a quality SF resigned for 4/40, thats what Deng is going to want. I should say its the minimum he'll want. I don't think he'll be worth it since we already start to see him decline offensively. The Bulls if they match Asik, have to trade Deng by next year's draft/offseason. Now you resigned Asik, unless you amnesty the last two years of Boozer's contract, The Bulls will have to deal Gibson or lose a valuable asset coveted by many teams for nothing. This is one of the prices you pay for being a good team, others take notice and want some of your players. Maybe the Bulls could revive the Deng for Harrison Barnes deal with the expiring center coming back our way and we can deal Omer Asik to Houston for Jeremy Lamb or Courtney Lee. This is just an example of some of the future moves they can make to help the cap situation. We should match......bottom line, you don't let valuable assets walk, especially bigs.

• If they let Asik walk for nothing not only will they look cheap as hell but they will also look clueless. The front office seems to have no plan for building a contender. The only plan I see is they are intent only on drafting and hanging on tightly to their draft picks. They need to make a big trade for a star or a star potential player. Only way to do that is to resign Asik as any trade will likely involve either he or more likely Noah and you have to have a seven footer.

If you let Asik go you lose a ton of flexibility in trade discusions because then you have to have Noah around even though he has been a complete failure in the playoffs the past two seasons. But on the flip side if you are only keeping Asik to save face and have no plans on making any trades then why resign him. To me letting him walk means they are not going for it they just want to be good and win some games and make some money. That would mean being happy with number two in the east.

I agree. The Bulls' front office got caught asleep at the wheel. They need to assess whether they'll be able to keep Taj in the future. If so, then they should play hardball for Asik.

Call up Daryl Morey and say: "You don't expect us to match, but we will. We like how the contract is structured because it gives us a large expiring in year 3. However, if you send us Jeremy Lamb we will complete a sign-and-trade with you for Asik. It'll save our stingy owner some money, and you'll get the guy you want. Let us know. To repeat: if Asik signs the waiver on July 11, we will match it."

It needs to be said again. There is NO way the Rockets will give up their number 12 pick from a few nights ago so they can overpay for a big man with no offensive skills.

That's completely fine. Then we sign Asik.

Right now, Morey is the aggressor and we are being forced to respond to his moves. If we ask for or demand Lamb (or Royce White or whatever) at the very least we've put him on the spot.

If Morey balks, I think we should sign Asik unless ownership has made it clear we won't have the money it will cost to retain Taj.

The spot? Are we testing him to see if he bursts out laughing? The Bulls have no bargaining power unless they can make a credible show of being happy to match and Houston would be unhappy for them to do so.

I'm not sure the first part is true, and given everyone acknowledges this deal is at least somewhat overpaying for Asik the second part surely isn't true. You threaten them and they just call the Bulls bluff, they aren't giving up anything so valuable as a lottery pick.

Why would we care if Morey laughs? We still have a sliver of control over an asset that he seems to covet. By threatening to use or actually using that control, we either receive something in return from the Rockets or we keep Asik and suck up the bad third year. As long as we're okay with resigning Asik, there is no harm whatsoever in testing the Rockets.

If the ownership group is not okay with resigning him (and shelling out for Taj), different story. Personally, I hope we match, but it's not my money. (Well, some of it is. But Doug's rant covered that.)

My assumption is that

a) The Bulls don't really want to match due to financial reasons; and
b) The Rockets are happy if they get him but given the price aren't exactly devastated if they don't.

I just don't see any bargaining power here. Especially since this is the Rockets, they like to win (or think they've won) every trade regardless of fit for their team. The Bulls only recourse is to match, but that means either paying tax (haha good joke) or paying a team a first rounder to take Hamilton if a Boozer amnesty isn't on the table.

I don't think this deal is really overpaying Asik in terms of total dollars, and I think there's a very good chance the Bulls match.

So I think the Rockets have some incentive to do a S&T, that said, I doubt the Bulls get much, but I don't see why Houston doesn't offer up a lotto protected 1st for Asik. They've got a ton of mid level prospects and won't need to add another guy like that next year anyway.

As far as being overpaid, where on the depth chart does Asik fall for a good team? Even if he's a starter he's probably your worst one and you have a 6th man who is better than him. So 6th best player on a contending team at best? 8 million is a lot for that in a league that has a 70 million luxury tax that most teams don't want to go over. I think that's overpaid.

My calculations a while back was that a MLE offer to Asik puts the Bulls in the tax even if they let Watson/Korver/Brewer all walk. Since you think there's a good chance the Bulls match, how do you predict they avoid the tax next season? Do you think they'll pay to dump Hamilton, amnesty Boozer, or is a Deng trade still in the works? Or do you really think they'll pay the tax?

As far as getting a first back: wrong team to try it with. It's Houston, they can't win on the court so they get their glory "winning" trades. I'll be shocked if the Bulls can get more than a second round pick out of them.

As I have pointed out repeatedly the Bulls will be a tax payer this year unless they let everyone walk, and replace them all with minimum salary players.

They have \$65 million committed right now to 7 guys. That leaves \$5 million to sign 6 guys just to get to the minimum roster size.

If they use the MLE(mini or full) or if they bring back anyone of Asik, Korver, Watson or Brewer, they will exceed the tax line.

All of this assumes that Bozo will not be amestitized while simultaneously arguing that he should be.

On this deal we are pretty much in total agreement. My gut feeling is that the Bulls will match, and that the dollars represent a fair market value.

The one area where I disagree, is on the amount of leverage that the Bulls have in a S&T. I think that they have quite a bit, if they are committed to resigning Asik, which has been their stated goal.

I assume that the Rockets really want Asik, that they didn't sign him just to test the Bulls. They have been desperate for a legitimate center since Yao broke down. Right now, they don't even have a single center on their roster.

It is the Bulls who have nothing to lose by discussing an S&T. The Bulls are not capitulating just by exploring an S&T. Assuming that it is their intention to match, then they either "win" any trade with Houston, or walk away and keep Asik.

I am asking for Lowry and either a recent draft pick, or a future one. Otherwise we just match without any regrets.

I think we agree on the facts: the Bulls have very little to spend without going over the tax. Basically only enough to get near minimum players.

Where we differ is our interpretation of the consequences. As soon as Rose went down and the "pay for a winner" had a convenient loophole it was clear that either Boozer or Asik was gone. Since they very quickly moved to tell us Boozer is not being amnestied, Asik is gone.

The only thing that can save Asik now is the cap unexpectedly going up and the Bulls having room to keep him without paying the tax. But I'll bet if keeping Asik means tax, then JR will be packing Asik's bags to Houston himself.

I wish everyone who says the Bulls should trade for a star player got to try and be GM for a day, talk to everyone else in the league and then get that "star" player.

He also said potential....Oj mayo, T. Evans, D. Howard, Iggy.....all available

Be careful Chad the hater. I've clashed with you on this blog before and exposed you as one of those monsters whose life is dedicating yourself to hating Noah, or going on other blogs thrusting knives in him.

"Noah has been a complete failure in the playoffs the past two seasons," according to a lowlife and hater like you. Are you serious?
Chad, you and Juiceboxjerry probably attended the same school and live in the same area or house.

Just imagine we have bulls blogs that are populated with haters like you and Juiceboxjerry.

• I hope bulls do nothing. let him walk. Save money to sign kirk hinrich. And then get a back up at low price.

I want to share with you a bulls forum I created one month ago. It's in french :

www.bulls.forumclan.com

If I go to the website, would I find more plans to get rid of our other solid players for worse players?

No but you might find more news like bulls has offered Kirk Hinrick a contract between the minimum for a veteran and the mini-mid level exception.

Woo hoo. I didn't get enough of Kirk dribbling out the clock at the top of the key and subsequently launching buzzer-beater-bricks a few years ago when he was still a capable defender.

• I know it's not worth bringing up anymore, but I can't get over how much could be solved by dumping Boozer's contract. I'm not a Boozer hater either, but that contract is killing things. There are some good players to be had if they just let him go.

No bulls fan is a Boozer hater. We just want our team to sucess and it won't happen with boozer on the roster.

• Celtics were at 80M last year. Looks like they are willing to go that high again even if KG and Ray are taking less.

Heat were at 77M and look to be there again forever or higher?

Are we competing or giving up?

If you are talking in terms of salary, I"d guess giving up. If the Bulls are willing to go 80 million they can put together quite a good team and do some interesting things. I doubt we see that.

it is very difficult to win championship without paying the luxury tax. Bulls won't win anything unless they changed their mind.

• I think you match and wait to see wait happens in free agency. You can always deal Asik at the trade deadline instead of losing him for nothing. Either way finding another big is a priority.

• Houston offering Asik the contract that they have, just goes to show that every team and owner in the NBA knows the Bulls are cheap asses and letting it be known loud and clear. If the Bulls dont match the Asik offer, the Bulls need to do something big cause letting Asik walk just proves the Bulls are not committed to winning. Just about every team in the league is making moves except the Bulls. I will never understand why Bulls fans accept management being so conservative on trades and just making moves to better the team. I understand the financial hurdles that the Bulls and every other team in the league has to overcome, but as I said before, the Bulls have not done a thing since Jordan left. They got lucky and got Rose, I wonder where the Bulls would be now if they didn't get Rose. My point is... the Bulls brass hasn't done anything big to make some fans feel as tho they're really registration.g to get this team back to the championship. It's always conservative with this organization, one of the top profitable teams in the league, I just don't understand and its hard being a fan of this team sometimes.

+100. I've never seen a management like that before. Since they certainly won't keep Asik, you might think that they will invest that money in the backcourt but guess what ? It's been reported that they offered Hinrich a contract between 1.2 and 3 million. 3 millions for hinirch for a guy who just came off a 8 million contract and who plenty teams wants ? Yet, after letting go Asik, Watson and Brewer Korver, there's a room of 12 millions. That simply show that they aren't commited to winning.

• Nets trade for Joe Johnson... I know he has a ridiculous contract, but this shows the Nets have no regard for the luxury tax.. how about the bulls get an owner like that? sell the team please

The Nets are still under the cap even with Joe Johnson if Deron re-signs there. They're miles from the luxury tax.

• I just think people are making a big deal about Omer and really the thing is we need a Scottie Pippen for Rose... so really getting exited about Omer and all just seems like a waste of time to me. Yeah I get it he brings defense but really the focus should be getting a another baller like Rose.

I think you nailed it SoulEater7.

I totally agree that we need to find Rose's Scottie Pippen, even though I contend that he himself is more Scottie than Michael.

However, you may or may not remember, but those Bulls teams where always stockpiling extra big men, and would have been thrilled to have Asik.

Yes I agree with u as well, but the Bulls aren't even trying to bring in another ballet like rose, they're too busy overvalueing the players that they have now. I have no problem with the Bulls letting Asik walk, all I'm saying is for the Bulls management to be some shrewd bastards and get Houston to give up something. DAMN a trade exception, Bulls need a good player from Houston and a draft pick. If they don't give in to that then FUCK THEM!!! And match their offer to Asik, keep him for a year then try to trade his ass, its that simple.

• This is the dumbest and cheapest management ever been :

http://espn.go.com/chicago/nba/story/_/id/8124358/sources-chicago-bulls-reach-derek-fisher-brandon-roy

Roy and Fisher. They think a one-legged and a grandfather will lead us to championship. OMG

• 2-3 years is an eternity in the NBA, and as we've seen today, with the Joe Johnson trade, any contract can indeed be traded, in fact they usually are.

Retaining Asik is basically a no brainer. As Doug said, we get 2 years of Asik(as a basketball player, and as an asset) for cheap(or reasonable if you prefer). Then we have to pay a penalty(or is it a tax, check with Justice Roberts) in year 3.

This is good timing from a Bulls perspective. Rose and Noah will make a combined \$30 million in 2014-15. Deng will be a free agent, and bozo will have been amnestitized. The only other remaining contracts will be Gibson(if we retain him), Bulter, Teague and the next 2 years draft picks. Which puts the Bulls at around \$45 million for 7 guys, as opposed to where they are right now \$65 million for 7 guys. Add in the one year hit on Asik and they are at \$60 million for 8 guys, still leaving room to bring over Mirotic fill out the roster and remain under the tax line. It may not be optimal, but it is easily manageable.

Going forward, I could live with a core of Rose, Noah, Gibson, Asik, Teague and Mirotic plus whatever draft picks that we develop over the next 3 years. We will still have to solve our problem of wing scoring, but what is new.

The fact of the matter is that free agency basically overpays everyone except for the handful of true franchise players. You either overpay to attract someone else's free agent, or you overpay to retain your own.

The Bulls have no choice but to match, enjoy the 2 cheap years, and worry about year 3 when the time comes.

Agreed, signing Asik should be a no-brainer. But I'm not sure the Bulls do it.

One more thing, GarPax have been saying all along that they will match any offer for Asik. They knew what the max offer could be, and this is actually less than the max (by one year and about 15 mill). If they back out now and let him walk, this affects next summer with Taj Gibson. He will be in the same position, and if they say they intend to match any offer, every team will know that is bunk. And everyone + Taj will know what that max offer can be. If we want to extend him during the year, he will know what we need to offer. We just dig a deeper hole with Taj by letting Omer walk. It never should have gotten to this point. We should have extended Omer earlier and for less money. And then be extending Taj during this offseason. But that would have required an admission of failure on the Boozer front, which they are all still hiding from.

• Teams screaming about record losses, a looming CBA restructuring, and Gar/Pax know Jerry would rather be Boy Geroge's(he is still alive I'm assuming) twilight years butt pillow then pay the luxury tax.

OK so Noah, Deng, Rose, Boozer all with double figure contracts with Taj and Omer resigns coming down the pike. OK we have to either dump a contract and get nothing back(turned out to be amnestying Boozer for \$5 Mil a year) which is akin to Jerry cutting his thumb off, or we send someone packing getting cheaper costing talent back or picks.

Gar/Pax, "What, Memphis is on the phone, and they want Asik for Mayo? Uhhh, tell them they can have back the injured non-shooter they already dumped in Ronnie Brewer instead." Bzz, bzz. "They said what you?" Rinng, rinnngg. "Houston wants Omer for Courtney Lee(a guy whose better then CJ, Ronnie, Bogans, or Life Support Hamilton - excpet when he's on the court off his stretcher), nahh. We'll just delay it until we are confronted with a matching offer where soemone else dictates what we spend or los him for nothing. Sounds good."

The only thing right now that would be worse then losing Asik for nothing is matching out of pride/fear of perception, and then being forced to give up Taj. Pathetic.

Doug said he warned about trading Asik as in getting something for him. O.J. Mayo is trouble. His first two years were good and then his numbers fell into an abyss. Translation, the guys falling apart with either drugs/out of control lifestyle or he just can't handle the life mentally. Courtney Lee is not the future SG we need, but he would have been relatively inexpensive for his production. And as a trading chip we'd be utilizing value rather then getting Nothing. Even resigned for what \$3 to 4.5 Mil a year maybe 5 a hell of a lot cheaper then Asik. Then you have value to trade instead of again, Nothing.

A couple of d-bag posters tried to misconstrue my last post which was referring to the opportunity from two years ago to trade Asik for Courtney Lee. And then another loseoid whiner piled on about how Lee at .433 is a "perfect fit" at shooting guard. God, the brainless leading the brainless. Lee shooting .433 and 40% on 3.5 threes again with solid D. That's a solid player, and now we have likely nothing.

As Doug just said himself in a reply to a poster mentioning that Boston spending \$80 M and Miami \$77 Mil if the Bulls are going to fight to put out a winner or give up? "If you ar talking in terms of salary, giving up" Enough said.

Good post. I'd just say that Mayo's production didn't actually fall off a cliff. He was relegated to a bench role and his minute averages went from 38 to 26. The Grizz have never given a clear answer for this - explaining that they're better with Tony Allen starting and Mayo's offensive punch off the bench. His shooting percentage did drop, but he did go from a promising young starter to a bench player behind Tony Allen... he has admitted working hard to fit into that role has affected his play. Overall he's been the consummate pro about it though.

You say he was relegated to a bench role like it's something that just happens through no fault of your own, the way you would if he got cancer or something. He was relegated to a bench role and had his minutes cut because he's not very good and the Grizz realised that. He's actually that far from good the Grizz don't want to risk having to pay him his QO.

Alright, just going by his second year numbers (slightly down from his first year scoring where he finished second in ROY voting next to DRose), he was a 17.5 ppg scorer on 45.8% (up from 43.8% his rookie campaign) shooting and 38.3% from three. Those numbers are "not very good"? They're not legit superstar numbers, but I didn't think we were talking about that - rather, young shooting guards with loads of potential and athleticism to spare.

• Okkay, can we work out a deal with Houston before Asik signs since they obviously need a big man and we should not be tying up so much money on Asik when we need to pay Taj next year? Offer enough money to make a deal work for both sides. Send Marcus Teague and Asik to Houston in exchange for Jeremy Lamb and Kyle Lowry. Lowry doesn't want to play with Goran Dragic and they want to resign Dragic and have a backup for him which could be Teague.

Houston can't be serious about usuing all the 2 guards they have now with Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee, and now Lamb. They have to be looking to get rid of one of them and if not Lamb, then either Lee or Martin. Kevin Mchale doesn't seem to like to play rookies a lot so why keep Lamb on the bench behind Martin and Lee? Bulls get a back-up for Rose who can play for him while out in Lowry. And they have another 2-guard scorer, possibly Lamb, or Lee. I don't think the salaries could work with Martin.

• The Bulls will get back nothing for Asik and like it.

If they can't afford Asik for 5 million the next two years, then they can't afford Lowry for 6. And Houston didn't work all those trades to get three first round picks because they hate rookies.

From the sound of today's press conference, the front office is preparing the fans to lose Asik. Too bad they want to keep and pay Boozer for one more year instead of admitting their mistake and moving forward.

Yes, but it is not that they (Rockets) hate rookies. They were gathering the picks with the hope of moving up to get the best big man (either Drummond or Leonard but both were gone when they picked) available which is what Chad Ford predicted or to go after DHoward which they realize they can't do now. I think McHale just prefers not to play rookies and if Lamb has Martin and Lee in front of him, then what's the plan?

The other rookies don't have other key players in front of them so I see Royce White and Terrence Jones playing because McHale doesn't have much else. With Lamb, Martin, and Lee I assume one of them is probably going to have to go. And what do the Bulls need more of now? A back-up center (Asik) or a back-up point guard who can play while Rose is down and also play along side him when he comes back. I'd prefer Lowry over Asik and there are others arguing for the Rockets to trade Lowry. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1244789-nba-rumors-8-reasons-rockets-must-move-kyle-lowry-to-let-goran-dragic-shine.

But I agree with you completely that it is too bad if the Bulls want to let Asik go and get nothing. I'm hoping (probably unrealistically) that they try something to help themselves and the Rockets now that the Rockets have apparently forced their hand..

• Speaking of Marquis Teague, did anybody see the press conference today for his signing? Talk about awkward. Gar and Thibs looked absolutely mortified. Whether that was over contract haggling or the Omer situation or both? It actually topped the Boozer signing press conference where Gar/Pax looked like they had just come straight from a colonoscopy.

I felt sorry for the young newly signed Teague being thrown in between two sterile Chicago management eunuchs and the obtuse, obigatory media stiffs skirting around the kid in hopes of a scoop on the 'Omer Crisis.' He didn't deserve that as his welcome into the NBA.

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