Reports: Pelicans, Omer Asik finalizing 5-year, $60 million deal

UPDATE: ESPN's Marc Stein reports that the final year of the contract is not guaranteed. This makes it an even better deal from the Pelicans' perspective.

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The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly finalizing a five-year deal with center Omer Asik. An agreement is expected before the end of Wednesday night.  

Asik didn't quite have the year everybody expected him to in New Orleans, but he has previously proved himself to be one of the best defensive centers in basketball. When fully healthy, he is a force on the glass and in the paint. 

It's possible that the Pelicans overpaid a little bit here, but it's a good thing that they didn't just let him walk. They gave up a first-round pick in order to acquire him from the Houston Rockets about a year ago. If you assume he can get back to the level of production he had in Houston in 2012-13, then he's easily worth $12 million per season in this salary-cap climate.

In 2014-15, Asik averaged 7.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 26.1 minutes per game. Those numbers are fine, but he didn't have the transformative defensive impact that was expected. It'll now be up to Alvin Gentry's coaching staff, and specifically assistant coach Darren Erman, to design a defense that makes the most of his ability to protect the paint and Anthony Davis' ability to roam around and guard every position. 

Omer Asik is reportedly set to take a long-term deal with New Orleans.  (USATSI)
Omer Asik is reportedly set to take a long-term deal with New Orleans. (USATSI)

CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

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