DEERFIELD – Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was not surprised when another team made a big-money offer to try to pry Omer Asik from the Bulls.
“When teams win, the value of the players goes up,” Thibodeau said Monday at the Berto Center. “And he’s done a great job for us.”
Clearly, the Houston Rockets agree.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey reportedly offered a three-year deal worth about $25 million to Asik, who is a restricted free agent. The Bulls have until July 14 to match the offer or lose Asik.
Bulls general manager Gar Forman said it was too soon to say what would happen next. Asik cannot formally sign his offer sheet until July 11, and Forman had not seen the proposed deal in writing as of Monday.
“First of all, I don’t want to speculate until we actually see something,” Forman said. “Second of all, I think we’ve made it clear that we value Omer, and it’s been our goal that Omer would stay with the Chicago Bulls. But I’m not going to talk about any type of negotiation or anything contractually until we see something.”
Houston reportedly back-loaded the offer, with more than $14 million due in the third year. That could strain the Bulls, who already have long-term deals in place with Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah that each call for more than $10 million a year.
Thibodeau was asked about the possibility of losing Asik.
“I don’t want to look at it that way,” Thibodeau said. “In the end, we’ll weigh everything out, and then we’ll make a decision.”
Number crunching: Asik, who will turn 26 on Wednesday, has proved to be a gifted defender but a subpar scorer in two NBA seasons.
The 7-foot-tall, 255-pound center has averaged 2.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 148 games, including two starts as a fill-in for Noah.
Thibodeau said Asik’s value went beyond numbers.
“I don’t think you can measure him statistically,” Thibodeau said.
Thibodeau cited Asik’s ability to run the floor, set effective screens and grab offensive rebounds as ways that he contributes on offense.
Coming along: A question-and-answer session at the Bulls’ practice facility would not be complete without an update on Rose, who continues to rehabilitate from a torn ACL.
“He’s doing great,” Thibodeau said. “He comes in, does his rehab. He’s right where he should be.
“[He’s] working extremely hard. Upbeat. He just has to be patient.”
Bulls rookie Marquis Teague said he was eager to learn from Rose.
“I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to him yet,” Teague said. “But when I get the chance, I will try to pick his brain.”
Bulls bits: Thibodeau said he was happy for Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, who recently signed a contract extension for four years and about $16 million. It’s possible that Thibodeau, whose contract expires after this season, could seek a similar deal.