Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The Houston Rockets have reportedly signed Chicago Bulls' backup center Omer Asik to a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet, but according to Fran Blinebury of NBA.com, the Bulls are going to match that offer.
This seems strange for a couple of reasons.
First, the Asik offer sheet is heavily back-loaded and would pay Asik $15 million in the final year of the new deal (known as the "poison pill" contract in an attempt to force Chicago to back off).
If the Bulls were to match the offer (as they're apparently planning to do), they'd not only be paying Asik $15 million in the final year of his deal, but they'd also be on the books for more than $17.8 million worth of Derrick Rose, $16.8 million worth of Carlos Boozer and $12.2 million of Joakim Noah.
That's more than $46.8 million invested in just four players.
Blinebury wrote that the Bulls would exercise the amnesty clause on Boozer to wipe his contract from the salary cap before then, but even so, this move is head-scratching for the Bulls.
Boozer has struggled during his stint in Chicago, but he's still a more accomplished player than Asik at this point.
In addition, Taj Gibson is entering the final year of his current contract. As a Bulls fan, would you rather have cap space available to bring back Gibson? Or would you rather spend $25.1 million on Asik?
To me, if amnestying Boozer is the popular choice, keeping Gibson makes far more sense.
Asik is a solid backup and a big body, but $25.1 million for a guy whose career numbers are 2.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 48.4 percent from the charity stripe seems steep.
There are plenty of free-agent big men who could match the numbers Asik has put up during his first two seasons (and at a much cheaper price).