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Reports: Bulls likely to sign Nazr Mohammed, paving way for Asik to head to Rockets

Jul 22, 2012, 9:05 AM EDT

Omer Asik

Peter Vecsey and ESPN Chicago report that the Bulls are “on the verge” of signing veteran C Nazr Mohammed. The big ramification of this is it signals the Bulls do not intend to match the three-year, $25 million offer sheet from the Houston Rockets for big man Omer Asik, clearing the way for Asik to join Houston.

The move for Chicago provides them with a talented veteran in Mohammed who has championship experience with the Spurs and in Tom Thibodeau’s system, should be able to provide good minutes, even if he’s as step-down from Asik. Mohammed played limited minutes for the Oklahoma City Thunder, eventually having his roster spot jumped by youngster Cole Aldrich, but still gives good effort. He has the kind of floor awareness to do what he needs to in Thibodeau’s system to succeed. It’s a regression from Asik, but not such a massive one that it will cripple the Bulls’ bench. And, of course, it saves Jerry Reinsdorf some dough, which is always the objective in moves like this.

Houston will land a seven-footer with almost no offensive abilities for $25 million over three years. Asik has to be an absolutely dominant center for this move to work out as a win. While the Rockets will still have the ability to use the stretch exception should Asik crash and burn in his third year, they’ll still be on the hook for $15 million spread out over over three years, with a lower cap hit. (Unless there is an obscure CBA provision about this, which there could be. The thing is more arcane than the Necronomicon.)

It’s a huge gamble, but if he can be the defensive presence they need him to be, it could be a gamechanger for the Rockets’ defense which has struggled over the years. And if they land Dwight Howard, they could put out one of the biggest lineups in the league if they were to play them together. Big gambles in Houston.

(HT: HoopsHype)

  1. Gordon - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    Good move by the Bulls. Asik is a nice player, but he was not worth that much money.

    Having said that, it certainly feels like the Bulls are throwing in the towel on this upcoming season. They’ve done nothing to improve.

    • knightrider1755 - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      Only a good move by the Bulls if they got him dirt cheap. Muhammad is a bust and has been so for quite some time. If they needed a body and nothing more, they got their man.

      • muhangis - Jul 24, 2012 at 3:45 AM

        How the hell is Mohammed a bust??? Are you retarded? First of all, you can’t apply the word “bust” to a 29th overall pick! He is about to be in his 15th season in the league…. his D has been absolutely stellar the entire time. Read a scouting report on him, there’s not a single weakness that can be pointed out on his D. An excellent shot blocker, year-after-year among the NBA’s leaders in rebs per min., remarkably low in ball turnovers, even a solid passer for a big man. Nazr has shot 51.1 fg% over the last eight years. All this while never receiving over 28 mpg in his entire career. Mo has been damn productive and efficient for his minutes, where teams really get alot out of him for his playing time.

        Also while most player’s #s decline in the playoffs, Nazr has been the exact opposite. On top of that he has a championship ring. Please don’t mistake highly ‘under-rated’ as a ‘bust’, if you don’t know basketball.

        And in a month the guy will be 35 yrs old wtf do you expect!? Please know what you are talking about first before you post. Doesn’t hurt to give your posts a second thought.

  2. jmclarkent - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Houston is giving a lot of dough to players who are full of question marks… they had better hope that something comes of this other than “salary cap hell”.

  3. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    this doesn’t feel like a very smart move for either the bulls or the rockets.

  4. timb12 - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    I thought the rockets were trying to break out of mediocrity? They just signed an average point guard to a big deal and now they’re signing an average big man to a huge deal. If Morey is trying to tank, then this has to be the most expensive tanking I’ve ever seen.

  5. dysraw1 - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    im going to assume the Rockets know what they are doing, after all both players that they hit with the poison joints are up an coming. unproven yeah but both could make some noise this year

  6. charlescub80 - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Good luck trying to even make the playoffs next year Houston. I’m also gonna put out there that in 4 years there will be a new GM.

  7. doctorfootball - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Asik, Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lin. That screams of championship material, does it not? lol Now, if they get Dwight Howard the Rockets will really have something there. But if not, then Morey will once again have what he was trying to avoid…mediocrity. I applaud the Rockets for making moves. It’s just that these aren’t the right moves. Asik is such a limited player. Jeremy Lin for 14 million in year 3? Ever heard of the word “defense”, Houston Rockets? Well, neither has Lin. Even during his tear through “great” teams like the Nets, Raptors, Wizards and Jazz last season, Lin was getting exposed on the defensive side of the ball. But the media decided to only focus on Lin’s offensive stats. The kid can play. But he’s far from a star.

  8. Kevin S. - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Asik’s cap hit in year three is going to be $8.3 million, the AAV of the contract he just signed. If the Rockets do stretch him, they can stretch the cap hit over the same number of years, so it’d be $2.7-$2.8 million per year for three years.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      Man, the crowd here isn’t a fan of facts:

  9. lakerluver - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    First they overpay for Lin, now this?!

  10. dylude - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Why are so many people SO uninformed….

    The Rockets don’t pay Asik or Jeremy Lin $15 mil in CAP salary in year 3. They are allowed to average out the cap hit which means Lin is an $8mil/year PG who will bring revenue to the organization, the GM works for the owner and if Lin can give 75% of his previous effort, he won’t be overpaid. Jameer Nelson and Devin Harris make similar money. Stop exaggerating. Les Alexander wants the benefit of a star until he can acquire a real one. The move makes sense.

    Asik is a gamble. I admit that easily. Apparently Morey loves his defensive game so much that the $8 mil/year is justified money. I think it’s a little high, but if after 2 years he is average, then he can be moved as a big expiring contract.

    It’s called knowledge. Let’s get some.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Apparently some here feel entitled to their own facts.

      • doctorfootball - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        And some here are Rockets homers.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 22, 2012 at 6:22 PM

        Understanding how the Lin and Asik contracts apply to the Rockets’ salary cap doesn’t make one a homer. It doesn’t even make one a Rockets fan. I’m not.

    • muhangis - Jul 24, 2012 at 3:51 AM

      wholeheartedly agree with your comment! There are severe morons posting here who don’t know squat about these individual players, and worse have little perspective on NBA salaries and who’s earning what….. there are so many more & more severely overpaid players than Jeremy Lin, yet ppl only want to pick on Jeremy Lin! What a sad state of affairs.

      Asik on the other hand is being grossly overpaid.

  11. dal24la - Jul 22, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Now can the Bulls go ahead and formerly reject to sign his offer so we can get this Dwightmare drama closer to being done?

  12. dylude - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    I apologize for pointing out that the claims people are making about how Asik or Lin isn’t worth $15 mil are irrelevant.

    I also apologize for being informed before stating an opinion.

    Please continue the baseless criticisms of Morey. They do entertain. It’s like the people who say global warming is a myth. Facts are facts. Anything that ignores them is entertainment.

  13. asublimeday - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    System guy. Everybody looks like a better defender under thibbs

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