The Houston Rockets have been incredibly aggressive in free agency this summer. While the manner in which they're acquiring these free agents has been successful in the short term, the consequences the team could face down the road may be dire, as the Chicago Bulls now join the New York Knicks as victims of the Rockets' "scorched earth" free-agent policy.
For the second time in just over a week, the Rockets signed a restricted free agent to an offer sheet that contains a "poison pill" provision. On Friday, the Rockets inked Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik to a three-year, $25.1 million offer that includes a ludicrous salary of nearly $15 million in 2014-15, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Bulls have 72 hours from the time they receive the offer sheet to decide whether or not to match the offer, but if events that have transpired since news of the offer became public are any indication, the team has absolutely no intention of doing so.
Longtime NBA columnist Peter Vecsey of the New York Post tweeted Saturday that the Bulls are on the verge of signing veteran center Nazr Mohammed, who averaged just under three points and three rebounds a game in limited minutes last year with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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
Mohammed is far from a "sexy" signing, and the 14th-year pro isn't nearly the defensive player that the "Turkish Hammer" is.
There's also a fair bit of difference between paying Mohammed the veteran minimum and Asik over $8 million a season on average in annual salary, especially given that with Derrick Rose on the shelf with a serious knee injury the odds of the Bulls of making any real noise in the Eastern Conference this year are slim to none.
It's been a dark offseason for Bulls fans, who saw Rose go down and then watched as their vaunted "Bench Mob" was stripped nearly to the bone by trades and free agency.
However, with 2012-2013 all but certainly a lost season for Chicago, the best thing the Bulls' front office can try to do right now is tread water, and that's much easier to do without a ridiculous contract weighing them down.