Ever since Gar Forman took over the reins of general manager for the Chicago Bulls before the 2009-2010 season, his tenure has been filled with great decisions.
He wasn’t influenced by the clamors of Bulls fans to re-sign Ben Gordon; he managed to get a first round draft pick from the Bobcats for Tyrus Thomas; he made the right hire in Tom Thibodeau; and he’s the architect of a squad that’s led the NBA in wins over the past two seasons.
However, if he matches the offer sheet the Houston Rockets made to Omer Asik as people expect him to, it’s likely to be the first blemish on an otherwise clean record of Forman’s GM career.
Should Bulls Match “Out Of The Park” Offer?
Earlier this weekend, Asik and the Rockets agreed on an offer sheet for three years and nearly $25 million. The contract calls for a payout around $5 million dollars in the first two seasons of the deal, but a ridiculous $15 million in the third year, 2014-2015.
Since he’s a restricted free agent, the Bulls have the option to match any offer made to Asik, which Gar Forman has come out and stated the Bulls plan to do under pretty much any circumstance.
However, did Forman expect Asik would get such an out-of-the-park offer like this one?
Sure, we all knew Omer is a great defensive player and was certainly going to get more than the $2.3 million qualifying offer the Bulls made, but this deal is one Gar Forman needs to really sit down and think over before he puts pen to paper.
There are a lot of reasons why this would not be a good decision, and one of them can be seen by just taking the eye test. Look, Bulls fans love Omer Asik and his defensive prowess has been a big part of the “Bench Mob” and Chicago’s resurgence. But is his game worth that sort of financial commitment? A young but extremely one-dimensional player with many flaws is worth nowhere near that much money, even in a back-loaded contract.
Second, the Bulls need to look at their financial commitments already at hand.
The deals of Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Luol Deng (although it expires before Omer’s $15 million would kick in), and Carlos Boozer (although a likely amnesty candidate after next season) are well documented, and remember that Taj Gibson will be a RFA after next season just like Omer is right now. If Asik is getting this kind of money, a more versatile and proven player like Gibson is sure to get an even bigger offer.
That’s why it puzzles me so much as to what the Bulls are now doing.
They’ve said they will match any offer to Asik, and they’ve said that Luol Deng won’t be traded. However, history shows that owner Jerry Reinsdorf does not like to pay the luxury tax, which the Bulls will certainly be well into if they decide to give that kind of money to Asik on top of everything else.
Plus, are they that dead set on the idea that this core can beat a Miami Heat team that’s only going to add to their roster moving forward?
Over the past decade, the Bulls have over-valued guys like Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, and Luol Deng, being reluctant to include them in deals for star players like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol (at the time, he was a star).
Let’s hope Gar, Pax, and everyone else have learned their lesson here and realize that this offer to Asik is not worth matching.