The backloaded, poison pill-filled offer sheet the Houston Rockets have agreed to with Chicago Bulls restricted free agent Omer Asik won't become official until July 11, when the Bulls will have three days to decide whether to match the 3-year, $24 million deal. The Bulls have maintained throughout the offseason process that retaining Asik is their top priority, but most assumed the final year of the offer sheet, which is slated to pay Asik a max contract for the 2014-2015 season, will lead the Bulls to pass on bringing back the team's backup center. The fans don't want him back, either, with nearly every poll showing around three out of every four Bulls supporters hoping the team just lets Asik walk.
According to a couple of the team's beat writers in the local media, however, matching the offer sheet certainly isn't out of the question. The Tribune's resident Dad Rock enthusiast K.C. Johnson tweeted as much today, with the Daily Herald's Mike McGraw also adding that Joakim Noah's bum ankle may give the Bulls even more incentive to keep Asik.
It's certainly going to be an interesting decision. The Bulls are right against the luxury tax, a fine which Jerry Reinsdorf has never paid. The tax looks unavoidable for the Bulls this year, though retaining Asik will only incur a bigger fine. I still maintain matching the offer sheet to Asik is more trouble than it's worth. We shall see.