Players > Retired > Omer Asik
Omer Asik
C - 7'0, 255lbs - 37 years old - 9 years of NBA experience
Retired - Retired after 2019 season
  • Birthdate: 07/04/1986
  • Drafted (NBA): 36th pick, 2008
  • Pre-draft team: Fenerbahce (Turkey)
  • Country: Turkey
  • Hand: Right
  • Agent: -
September 2006TurkeyLoaned by Fenerbahce to Alpella for two seasons.
10th December, 2007TurkeyReturned by Alpellan.
2008 NBA DraftNBADrafted 36th overall by Portland.
2008 NBA DraftNBAAs a part of a three team deal, draft rights traded by Portland to Chicago in exchange for two 2009 second round picks (#38, Jon Brockman and #55, Patrick Mills) and a 2010 second round pick (#44, Jerome Jordan).
13th June, 2010TurkeyLeft Fenerbahce.
13th July, 2010NBASigned a two year, $3,578,500 contract with Chicago.
20th July, 2012NBASigned a three year, $25,123,938 offer sheet with Houston.
23rd July, 2012NBAChicago declined to match Houston's offer sheet.
14th July, 2014NBAAs a part of a three team deal, traded by Houston, along with Omri Casspi and cash, to New Orleans in exchange for Alonzo Gee, Scotty Hopson and a protected 2015 first round pick (#18, Sam Dekker) from New Orleans, along with a signed-and-traded Trevor Ariza from Washington.
9th July, 2015NBARe-signed by New Orleans to a partially guaranteed five year, $52,977,525 contract. Included early termination option after 2018/19 season.
1st February, 2018NBATraded by New Orleans, along with Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson, the right to swap 2021 second round picks and a 2018 first round pick (#22, Chandler Hutchison) to Chicago in exchange for Nikola Mirotic and a 2018 second round pick (#51, Tony Carr).
30th June, 2018NBADeclined 2018/19 early termination option.
21st October, 2018NBAWaived by Chicago.
Career Moves
2005 - 2006Fenerbahce (Turkey)
September 2006 - December 2007Alpella (Turkey, TBL2)
December 2007 - June 2010Fenerbahce (Turkey)
July 2010 - June 2012Chicago Bulls (NBA)
July 2012 - July 2014Houston Rockets (NBA)
July 2014 - February 2018New Orleans Pelicans (NBA)
February 2018 - October 2018Chicago Bulls (NBA)
Articles about Omer Asik

June 29, 2018

Omer Asik
C – 7’0, 255lbs - 31 years old - 8 years of experience

Asik’s career has declined significantly over the past three seasons, and has basically dribbled to a stop over the last 18 months. He has it seems recovered from the illness that robbed him of his strength and his health for so long, yet that alone has not reinvigorated his career. A man who already lacked for high level skills and much in the way of NBA mobility seems to have lost what he ever had.

The evolution of the NBA away from post centres like Asik has not helped. But it is not just that. Asik was never offensively skilled, at all, but he would at least be in the right position defensively, a wall if not a shotblocker (at least not post-Thibodeau) and a dominant rebounder. None of those things apply any more. Asik is tall, but no obstacle; just drive at him and a foul is probably coming your way. Draw him out on defence and he won't go; attack him in space and he can do nothing. Give him the ball on the block and ask him to create, and he can’t; given him the ball on the perimeter with the same message and he’ll just give it back to you. In both cases, the turnover is possible.

These severe limitations, flanked with the skills that never developed beyond the two-handed dunk, make for an awkward combination. After such a long and profound three-year decline, it seems unlikely that Asik is going to get it back, even when his age suggests he should still have some good years left in him. At this point, he is a contract. And it’s all a bit of a shame, because the good years were good.

Player Plan: Two years and $23,264,043 remaining. Final year is after an early termination option, which he will not exercise, yet it is only $3 million guaranteed unless performance incentives are met. Given that there is no performance, they won’t be met, so it can be assumed unguaranteed. Sit on it as potential use as filler, unless cap space ambitions this summer actually come to fruition, in which case he becomes a stretch candidate ($2,857,303 per annum until 2023).

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June 29, 2017

Omer Asik
C, 7’0, 255lbs, 30 years old, 7 years of experience

Asik’s career is in trouble. Formerly a defensive wall on the interior and exceptional rebounder with limited offensive abilities, he is now a considerably less effective interior rim protector, a much more average rebounder, and just as poor offensively. And the viral infection he caught to end the season is hardly a good platform for success going forward. Asik is an NBA player by virtue of his contract only. It was a good price at the time, but now it is a burden.

Player Plan: Three years and circa. $33,86 million left on what is increasingly diminishing returns. Can’t be traded like this, but also can’t do much on the court, so this is limbo for a while.

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December 23, 2013

For all that posturing, Houston did not trade Omer Asik. Despite much proclamation — including from here — that the Rockets were determined to trade their backup center before a self-imposed Dec. 19 deadline. They did not, nor did they ever appear to come especially close. Asik remains with the team, continuing in an awkward limbo-like situation that all parties would like changed because it benefits none of them.

It could, however, be a lot worse.

Houston has every reason to want to deal Asik. As good as he is — and he really is — Dwight Howard is significantly better, and the two cannot play alongside each other. Both are pure centers in a league where you do not even really need one pure center, let alone two, and an Asik/Howard frontcourt pairing could not work for reasons of spacing alone. Moreover, it need not now be forced to work, because the power forward hole no longer exists. Terrence Jones has rightfully won the spot with quality play and has nullified the need to find a power forward by trade (and probably killing my own Asik-and-Jones-for-Serge Ibaka trade idea along the way).

Asik is thus reduced to a limited role as Howard's backup, a role rarely affording more than 12 minutes a night. Yet for this role, he is responsible for a cap hit worth $8.3 million. Next season, he is to be paid almost $15 million in salary for what will be no bigger of a role. This redundancy and expense, combined with Asik's own dissatisfaction with the situation, has made for a strong need for the Rockets to deal.

Unfortunately, everyone else knows it, too. Asik's value was proven by this round of talks to be fairly low for the same reasons Houston wants to move him, as well as Houston's strong desire to have him traded by this somewhat arbitrary date far in advance of the actual trade deadline. Particularly, the upcoming $15 million price tag has proven to be an obstacle. This was reflected in the offers received for him: The best reported offer of Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a low first round pick from Boston would merely give Houston two expensive backups offering little above replacement value to the Rockets.

Dealing Asik when his value is this low, and not reflective of his true abilities as a player, would have made for either a bad deal or no deal at all. The Rockets opted for the latter hoping they can turn around the former.

In theory, they can. A healthy, happy, starting Omer Asik is a defensive wall of a center who merits both a starting job and a quality trade package. An increasingly oft-levied argument — that Houston remained a fairly poor defensive unit last season even with Asik playing most of the time — is one that deliberately ignores his abilities by highlighting the flaws of others. Asik is a prodigious rebounder and a terrific defender of the paint who contests almost everything and who does so without fouling. He also can pass the ball fairly well, though, given that he cannot consistently make any shot other than the two handed dunk, he does not handle the ball enough to make this skill worth all that much. Were his value to be at its peak, Asik would have extremely high trade value. But of course, circumstances have affected this.

So now, after no deal has been made, where does this go? Asik has to stay with a team he doesn't want to be on, in a role that he doesn't want to fill, a role that further belies his abilities. None of this is conducive to a player increasing his value, and trading a player when he is greatly removed from his peak value is a proposition fraught with danger. (See also: Tyson Chandler for P.J. Brown and J.R. Smith.)

[...] Moreover, what must not be forgotten is that despite the specifics of his situation, Asik is the type of player who could help any team he is on while being available and desirable to all of them. Rare are players so useful so readily available. The drawback is the $15 million price tag, yet this is something the Rockets can offset by including cash of their own in the deal. At that point, Asik would effectively cost closer to $12 million, a more reasonable price for a center who can average a double double if given the minutes.

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July 8, 2013

In light of one or both of these two being about to be traded, there exists a new realm of questions about this two unusual, nearly-novel deals.

The questions surround what they're being paid, and what they're being charged to the salary cap. People don't know which set of figures to believe, and the confusions stems from the fact that those two questions actually have two different answers.

"Salary" and "cap number" are usually assumed to be synonymous with each other on account of the fact that they normally are, with rare exceptions. Occasionally, exceptions can be found in buyout agreements (I believe, though cannot say decisively, that the Blazers were still playing Shawn Kemp up to and including last season), but not with valid contracts. These deals, then, are an exception. And that's why they need clarifying.

Using the Arenas provision, Lin and Asik signed for the most Houston could give them over three years - $25,123,938. The contracts called for them to be paid an even $5 million in 2012/13, $5.225 million in 2013/14, and $14,898,938 in 2014/15. For the purposes of where we're going, it doesn't matter how these figure was arrived at, only what they are and where we're going.

The cap number for these contracts calls for that $25,123,938 contract to be split evenly across all three years, i.e. $8,374,646 each season. This is true despite of the actual payment schedule being what it is above. So when someone asks "what are Lin and Asik getting paid?", the answer could be either, technically. On a literal interpretation of the question, the payment schedule is the right answer. Yet when people ask that, what they really want to know, even if they don't know there's a difference, is what is their cap number. That's the one that matters to anyone who isn't actually cutting the cheques.

The confusion as to which is correct stems from a now-irrelevant provision of the Arenas rule, whereby had Chicago and New York matched the deal, their cap hit would have mirrored the payment schedule. This was widely reported at the time, and as such, passed into the public conscience in a conflicting manner. But it's something that should be disregarded. That was something that didn't happen, cannot now happen, and thus is irrelevant. From now until the date the contracts expire, Lin and Asik will have cap numbers of $8,374,646 in each season, along with being paid $5.225 million this season and $14,898,938 next. This is true no matter which team they are on - even if Asik is traded back to Chicago, $8,374,646 will remain the cap number. While owners looking to trade for them must be mindful of the latter, it is the former figure which is used for all cap calculations, and thus trade permutations. So when you see their cap hit listed as $8,374,646, this is the one that matters. This is the figure around which outgoing salary in trade, cap room, proximity to luxury tax, and all that jazz, is calculated from. This, then, is the correct figure.

And yes, this also applies to Landry Fields. His actual salary will be $5 million 2012/13, $5.225 million 2013/14, and $8,525,000 in 2014/15. Don't shoot the messenger.

While we're on the subject, let's address one other thing regarding these three signings - they were NOT "Poison Pill" deals. They were deals done what we used to call, and for no apparent reason stopped calling, the Arenas provision. The mechanism known as the "Poison Pill" provision is completely different, and regards what happens when you trade someone whose rookie contract you have extended, before said extension kicks in. It is unrelated here, and yet from somewhere, the term seems to have transitioned to the Asik, Lin and Fields cases.

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July 28, 2012

Omer Asik is now officially a Rocket, his offer sheet (identical to that of Jeremy Lin's) going unmatched by Chicago. This gives Houston an absolute defensive wall at the centre position, someone who last year was one of the best defensive big men in the league. On a par with Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler, albeit in considerably less time. We'll see how well this holds up when he becomes a 25mpg+ player outside of the comfort of Tom Thibodeau's defensive system; nevertheless, by paying him upon a highly favourable prediction of future performance, Houston got their guy, someone who can now break out akin to how Joel Przybilla did at the same age, if not better.

Asik's value to Houston is more than it would ever have been to Chicago, which is why an expense that is difficult to justify for one team is much easier to justify for the other. In a situation very similar to that of Marcin Gortat and Orlando three years ago, Chicago had an awesome backup centre, and knew it, yet the secret was out. And while Houston could pay Asik to be a starter, Chicago couldn't. Their self-imposed budgetary restrictions, combined with the presence of having a better player in front of him (and one with whom Asik has an ill-fitting skillset, making it unlikely the two could ever play alongside each other), made it a tough ask to match. While Carlos Boozer's contract is the problem, losing others is its solution, and with Taj Gibson similarly up for a pay day, the Bulls had to choose between the two. They went for the better two-way player.

The choice Chicago faced concerned whether to play $8.3 million to a season to a player you can only play 15 minutes per game until the guy in front of him gets injured (which, while he inevitably will, is arguably a misappropriation of the very limited asset that is the Bulls's financial flexibility), or lose a defensive anchor and a key piece of the thing that keeps you competitive. That's no choice at all, a lose-lose situation. However, it didn't have to be this way.

Asik was drafted in 2008 with the 36th pick in the draft; that is to say, he was not a first rounder. As a second rounder, Asik was not bound by the rookie salary scale - as long as you have the means to do so, you can pay second rounders whatever you want. They can get the maximum, in theory. In practice, of course, they often get the minimum. A combination of lack of leverage, team's prioritising of their exceptions elsewhere, and not normally being good enough to merit anything more, leads to most second round rookies getting the smallest possible amount. And that's if they get any contract at all.

[...] As stated above, the Minimum Salary Exception offers only a maximum of two years. But the Minimum Salary Exception is a salary cap exception, meaning it is only used by teams over the cap. Teams under the cap aren't bound by any limitations other than those conferred by the size of their cap space, and in 2010, the Bulls and Knicks (infamously) both had plenty of it.

[...] Chicago's LeBron-less offseason saw them pay Asik two years and $3,578,500, after he had spent two more years since being drafted developing further in his native Turkey. They spent considerably above the minimum to bring over a player whose rights they had previously traded the equivalent of three picks to obtain in the first place - indisputably, then, they valued the player. They might not have known they had an elite defensive anchor on their hands, but they suspected that there was a chance, else they would not have gone to those lengths. The question, though, is why they didn't go one length further, Asik's contract called for no third year, not even an option, and now they're paying the price for that. The question of why such a coveted long term project was not signed long term is a valid one.

This all sounds a bit hindsighty, and that is unfortunately unavoidable. But it is a struggle to see what rationale existed for giving neither of the duo three year contracts. They have now lost valuable contributors they deemed to be of excessive cost when they could have initially been signed at a negligible cost, using only the cap room they already had. Whereas it could have cost very little, it has now cost an awful lot.

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January 3, 2010

- Omer Asik

Bulls draft pick Asik is still with Fenerbahce, and this year he's not got a torn knee ligament. On the season he's averaging 8.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in the Euroleague, alongside 10.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in the Turkish league. His free throw stroke is still pretty biblically terrible, however; Asik is shooting 36% from there in the Euroleague and 43% in the Turkish league (and even that's only salvaged by the 6-6 performance in his last game; he started 8 for 31). But apart from that tiny flaw, he's producing.

The general rule is that if you can perform in the Euroleague, you can perform in the NBA. But to do that, Asik will have to stop getting injured. He's out for at least another six weeks now after fracturing his collarbone during a game on December 14th. Considering that he's missed much of the last two seasons with knee injuries, this does not bode well.

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