Omer Asik came to Chicago as part of the Nicola Mirotic trade, but last season he never set foot on the court for the Bulls. Back in training camp, Asik was ruled out indefinitely with inflammatory arthritis, the latest flare-up in a condition that has been an issue for years. Asik had played in just 49 games combined the two seasons before sitting out this last one.
During training camp, the Bulls waived Asik. He was paid his full $11.3 million for this season and had a $3 million guarantee for next season.
After applying to the league to have it removed (because Asik hadn’t played in a year due to injury and was not expected to in the future), that $3 million is coming off the Bulls’ books in time for free agency, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The NBA has removed Omer Asik's deal from the Chicago Bulls' salary books via career-ending injury/illness, freeing up an additional $3M in space, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Chicago now has upwards of $23M in salary space for free agency.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 26, 2019
That $23 million is not a max player slot, but it is a little more money for the Bulls to spend as they chase a point guard and look to add depth and shooting to their young roster.
Asik still gets paid the $3 million, it just doesn’t count against the Bulls salary cap.