The Chicago Bulls have agreed to a deal with 34-year-old center Nazr Mohammed. The veteran of 14 seasons will replace Omer Asik as Joakim Noah’s backup at center.
The move is bittersweet for Bulls fans, who knew Chicago could not afford to match Houston’s 3-year, $25 million offer sheet to Asik. The seven footer joins Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson, John Lucas III and Kyle Korver as former Bench Mob members that left this offseason.
A Chicago native, Mohammed will join his eighth team. Mohammed most recently played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, for whom he averaged 2.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11 minutes per game. Mohammed has served primarily as a backup center throughout his career.
While Asik’s career numbers, 2.9 points and 4.4 rebounds, do not pop off the stat sheet, the 26-year-old showed signs of potential and served as a valuable reserve. His help defense and energy will not be completely replaced by Mohammed. One area in which Mohammed is an upgrade is free throw shooting. Mohammed is a career 64% shooter from the charity stripe; Asik a 48% shooter.
Bulls fans have little to get excited about for next year. Their primary scoring option to open the season will be Carlos Boozer, with Kirk Hinrich likely the second threat. The health of Luol Deng and Derrick Rose will be trending topics and perhaps the most exciting development will be the expanded role for Jimmy Butler. The Marquette product will fill the hole left by Brewer.
The Big Guy