The writing has been on the wall for Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik for some time, but on Tuesday it will become official: K.C. Johnson of the Tribune reports the Bulls will decline to match the three-year, $25 million offer sheet Asik agreed to with the Houston Rockets when free agency began on July 1, freeing his way to Houston.
Chicago maintained for months re-signing Asik was the team's top offseason priority, but the 'poison pill' offer sheet engineered by Rockets GM Daryl Morey proved too tough for the Bulls to swallow. Asik is set to earn just over $10 million total in the first two years of the contract, but will be paid about $15 million in the deal's final season.
The Bulls agreed to a one-year, $1.4 million deal with center Nazr Mohammed last weekend to fill the void left by Asik.
Re-signing Asik became official when the Bulls decided to sign shooting guard Marco Bellineli to the bi-annual exception and use a portion of the midlevel exception to sign guard Kirk Hinrich. Because Chicago used both exceptions, the team is locked into a hard cap of $74.3 million, meaning even the $5 million Asik is poised to earn next wouldn't be feasible for the Bulls.
I covered the Asik situation extensively with columns on July 2 and July 18.