The always entertaining Joakim Noah will be the leading big man on the Bulls in the upcoming season, and that is just dandy! The Cleveland-loving, two time NCAA champ has improved in each of his three NBA seasons. He has developed from a underwhelming draft pick in 2007 to arguably that draft’s best center (over Florida teammate Al Horford and the perpetually broken Greg Oden). Unfortunately, Noah’s success has not been pain-free. Noah missed 18 games in the 2009-2010 season due to plantar faciitis. Granted, this condition is very treatable and should not be an ongoing concern. Yet, having a large frame and playing with an all or nothing mentality, means that it is very likely that Noah will not have an injury-free season. This notion then puts a great deal of weight on the backup center. In this void the Bulls currently have recent signed Kurt Thomas and something called a Ömer Aşık. In Kurt Thomas the Bulls have a 37 year old player who is best suited to play power forward. In Ömer Aşık the Bulls have… um.. er…?
Ömer Aşık was acquired by the Bulls in the 2008 draft, via the Portland Trail Blazers (still not sure why their name is two words). Since then, Mr. Aşık has spent his time playing ball where he has always played his ball, Europa! During this time, Ömer has posted such tasty stats like 8.9 points and 6.0 rebounds while averaging 21.7 minutes in the Euroleague! What is even better is that he was an intimidating 36% from the charity stripe (warning opposing teams: foul this beast at your own risk!). In addition to these monster stats, Ömer has missed significant time through torn knee ligaments and a broken collarbone over the last two years.
Like most injury-prone centers with mediocre stats in the Euroleague, Ömer Aşık is now ready to bring his game to the NBA.
Personally, I would have liked the Bulls to wait for the Diesel to realize he is going to be a backup this season and lower his asking price. If for no other reason, the Bulls would be able to boast the NBA’s second most entertaining player starting in front of the NBA’s most entertaining player. Instead, the Bulls have a player hailing from that NBA star producing nation of Turkey. Sıçmak!
Leroys Sportsbook odds for the Chicago Bulls winning the 2010 NBA Championship: 6-1