Feb 28, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; New Orleans Hornets point guard Jarrett Jack (front) is fouled by Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik (back) during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
According to multiple reports, most notably those of Peter Vecsey and ESPN Chicago, the Bulls are on the verge of signing Nazr Mohammed, all but eliminating any chance that they would match the Rockets' offer sheet for Omer Asik.
Here's what Vecsey had to say:
I did learn during function that Nazr Mohammed agreed to sign w Bulls (vs. Nets) meaning they won't match Houston offer match sheet to Asik— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) July 22, 2012
If these reports turn out to be true, the Rockets will have pulled off a remarkable coup this summer. Despite past threats to the contrary, it's extremely rare for a young player of any consequence to change teams in restricted free agency, especially without a sign-and-trade.
When looking at the list of restricted free agents whose teams declined to match their offer sheets, the players tend to be the Dante Cunningham's or Greg Stiemsma's of the world, bench players with limited upside. Morey identified a strategy to take advantage of Lin and Asik's early bird status, and came out of free agency with a pair of starters and a younger, revitalized roster.
How Asik fits likely depends on whether the Rockets succeed in their conquest to bring Dwight Howard to Houston, but it's a worthwhile signing either way. Young big men are a valuable commodity, and acquiring one without giving up any of the team's prized assets would be an excellent acquisition. Bravo, Daryl, you've outdone yourself once again.