Most of the buzz since free agency hit at midnight was about, surprisingly, Omer Asik. He was courted by the Trail Blazers but ultimately has signed an offer sheet with Houston, one the Bulls now can match. The deal is for three years and $25 million, with about $12 million of that likely to come in the third year. Before you scoff, he can rebound like few others — only six guys in the league had a 25 percent defensive rebounding rate and 12 percent on offense, SI’s Zach Lowe tweeted out. And, like he also reported, Asik is Kendrick Perkins but with the important distinction that Asik can help out guarding a wing if he gets switched on it. Perk got sliced and diced with that during the Finals. Should the Bulls match that offer they’d have $45 million committed to just three dudes next season — Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose (our new coverboy) and Asik. Do you take the deal if you’re Chicago? … Roy Hibbert became an All-Star this year but then got clowned on early in the playoffs by Charles Barkley. He was saying we’ll all look back and wonder how Hibbert was an All-Star. Well, he’s about to be paid by somebody who believes he’ll be more like the guy who was making Miami’s frontline look like a youth league in the playoffs’ second round. And, surprise, surprise, it might not be the Pacers. Hibbert was reportedly “blown away” by Portland’s presentation this weekend that culminated in an offer sheet of four years, $58 million. This situation is role reversal to us, vis a vis Portland and Indiana. Last year Portland had no GM at this time and was relying on patchwork decision-making. Now Indiana has no official GM (though ex-Portland GM Kevin Pritchard‘s in charge basically) and Larry Bird‘s about to step down, too. Who pulls the trigger on a possible match? … How much is Joe Johnson worth to you? Because the Brooklyn Nets are offering up (reportedly) five players and a future first-rounder for the Hawk guard, who showed out in the months of January and February last season. The guys involved are Jordan Farmer, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson and Jordan Williams. This is like when the Knicks dropped their entire roster off at Penn Station (destination: Denver) next to MSG to get back Carmelo in return. It’s been five seasons since his 25.0 points per game career high, and he put up 18.8 this season. He had his lowest rebounds per game since 2003 and lowest assists per game since 2002. Maybe the Nets figure if they get him, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, the other parts of Johnson’s game become not so important. We think that’s a little too much for Joe, and especially if Atlanta gets what it really wants in MarShon Brooks thrown in. Several of the guys already mentioned have expiring contracts so the Hawks, naturally, want some talent with it. … The saga of Dwight Howard continues and this time it’s the first indication the Magic wholesale want him gone. Or at least are working on a way to make it happen. The team has talked with Houston, Brooklyn and the Lakers about taking their big guy and the king’s ransom it will take to do so. He told Yahoo on Sunday that, “There’s only one team on my list” that he’ll sign with if traded for. He has the seat next to him saved and don’t you dare sit in it any one else in the league. Consider this dead horse beaten, but all we’ll say is that GM Rob Hennigan has a chance to remake the Magic in his image, or more exactly, OKC’s. We bet it happens because he saw how much of a circus Orlando was all last season, and letting Howard in effect run the show doesn’t show the roster you’re in control. … How much of Chris Paul‘s “thanks but no thanks” answer to a three-year, $60 million extension from the Clippers is “I want out” or “I want to be paid later even more”? We ask because while he has reportedly said no to a three-year offer, he can re-sign with LAC when he’s a free agent next summer for five years and $105 million. He may be scheming to stay in L.A. all along, but Frank Fisola of the New York Daily News doesn’t buy that. He wrote Sunday that all along he believes it’s a way to get to the Knicks. Welcome to the story that will linger like none other through the 2012-13 season. … Reminds us that we wish we could watch CP3 take over a fourth quarter again sometime soon. We miss that one-man show. … We talked here last night about the dueling pitches Mark Cuban and Mikhail Prokhorov are about to whip out for Deron Williams on Monday. We didn’t mention the video plea from Wayne Gretzky that Toronto had primed for Steve Nash. Nash met with the Nets (who else?) on Sunday and is the most sought-after guy this offseason despite being 38. Reports said that the Raptors can offer three years and $36 million and are renegotiating a new TV deal that they have to hope will be centered around Nash. Toronto isn’t exactly British Columbia and Nash’s native home, but wouldn’t it seem right to have Nash end his career there and jump into the front office? He could try to erect a winner out of the lowly franchise in two ways. … We’re out like CP3.
Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook