HOUSTON (AP) — Chicago Bulls restricted free-agent center Omer Asik has agreed to a three-year, $25 million deal with the Houston Rockets, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been officially announced. Free agents cannot sign new contracts until July 11 and because the 7-foot Asik is restricted, the Bulls have three days to decide whether to match Houston’s offer or let him go.
The Rockets have made finding a big man a priority since injury-plagued Yao Ming retired last summer. Houston was rumored to be collecting draft picks to package in an offer to Orlando for Dwight Howard, but the team ended up using its three draft picks on Thursday night.
Asik was playing professionally in Turkey when he was picked by Portland in the second round of the 2008 draft and immediately traded to Chicago in a three-team deal. He played in 66 games last season, but only averaged 3.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and one block per game. Asik helped Turkey earn the silver medal at the 2010 FIBA world championship.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said last week that he wants to re-sign unrestricted free agent Marcus Camby, who joined the team last March.
Houston traded Samuel Dalembert to Milwaukee for the 12th pick and three players. The Rockets selected Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb with that pick, and also drafted Iowa State forward Royce White (No. 16) and Kentucky forward Terrence Jones (No. 18).