Omer Asik was seen as an untouchable player at last year's trade deadline. This year, however, it could be a different story. That is because Asik becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season. More than likely some team will throw starter money at Asik, and the Bulls won't want to match and pay their backup center like a starter. That would result in losing Asik without getting anything of his value in return.
The NBA goes crazy over legit seven-footers with some skills. Andris Biedrins is making $9 million this year, and he wouldn't see the court if he was on the Bulls. So, I don't think it's a far-fetched idea at all that a few teams out there want Asik as a starter and will pay him accordingly to do so.
The issue here is the 25-year-old Asik is a key member of the "Bench Mob." He plays defense, he cleans the glass, and he can score when he's under the bucket.
A concerning fact about Asik though, is his drop in playing time. While he is averaging about 16 minutes a game, he has played 16 or more minutes in just two of the Bulls last 16 games. Plus there are rumors swirling about the Bulls signing Joel Przybilla or Kyrylo Fesenko. Neither would match what Asik does, but they could definitely do a solid job in the backup role.
To top it all off, moving Asik now could upgrade your starting lineup, which makes it a little easier to match up with Miami in the playoffs. I'm not saying the Bulls need to trade Asik, but I do think they should take a look at their long-term plan for him and not risk losing him for nothing.
Here are three ideas for a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers who should be ready to close the book on their former franchise center, Greg Oden.