The offer sheet contains a so-called "poison pill," which means the annual salary spikes in the third year of his deal, when Chicago will be sorely pressed to find available salary space. The Bulls love Asik but are unlikely to match the contract and, even if they do, it will only be to force the Rockets to agree to a sign and trade agreement.
So, who can Chicago sign to replace Asik? Here is a list of seven potential replacements.
Brand, whom Philadelphia amnestied recently, would not exactly "replace" Asik because he does not have Asik's size or defensive presence at center.
However, Brand is an experienced veteran who can play both front-court positions. He can still rebound, bang in the paint, and score as a reserve paired with either Taj Gibson or Joakim Noah. Brand is also an old fan-favorite who would be a crowd-pleasing addition in Chicago.
Dalembert is a long shot because he was just acquired this offseason by the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago's division rival. However, the Bucks also drafted John Henson, a defensive forward-center, and may not want to pay Dalembert's $6.7 million price tag this year. Of course, Chicago may not want to do that either, but he remains a possibility.
Udoh, a former lottery pick by the Golden State Warriors, has the size and athleticism in the frontcourt that the Bulls desperately need. The Milwaukee Bucks may view him as expendable after drafting John Henson, who is essentially a better version of Udoh.
Is Thabeet a bust? His production suggests he, is but he is still 7'2" and has never really been given minutes on the floor. He has some ability in the paint as a defender and rebounder, which is all Asik really does, so he might be worth a look.
Speights has produced in spurts when given the opportunity and has the size to replace Asik. However, while he might replicate Asik's rebounding, he won't come close to matching his impact on defense.
Yes, you read that correctly: Darko Milicic. The much maligned former No. 2 overall draft pick never lived up to his potential but he is a decent defender and rebounder in limited minutes. The Bulls might find that he can represent a decent facsimile of Asik's production.