The way Asik’s contract offer from Houston is structured, that would mean a price tag of about $14 million in 2014-15. The catch is in how the deal is paid out differently by the team making the offer and the team having to match it (the Bulls). For Houston, Asik’s cap hit each year would be the total money evenly split over three seasons. For the Bulls, it would mean having to pay that $14 million in the final year, a figure that would put them way over the luxury tax threshold right when the tax penalties are slated to become even more severe for repeat payers. That difference in $6 million makes matching the Rockets’ offer go from irresponsible to nearly impossible.
Bizarre loophole, and it’s unclear if it was intentional. Not only do not think the Bulls will match it, but I hope they don’t. They already have one (very) overpaid center who skews mostly toward the defensive side. Asik may get better, but right now he doesn’t look like more than a backup, and a team with bloated salaries can’t afford to overpay a backup.