Reports: Pelicans, Omer Asik finalizing 5-year, $60 million deal
New Orleans is reportedly bringing back Omer Asik.
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.
Omer Asik and Pelicans are finalizing a deal, according to ESPN sources— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 2, 2015
Omer Asik is finalizing a five-year, $60M deal to return to the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 2, 2015
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.
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