The Bulls have requested that the NBA remove the rest of Omer Asik‘s salary from their cap due to a career-ending injury/illness, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). Asik was waived by Chicago last October, but his contract included a partial guarantee for 2019/20 that’s still on Chicago’s books.
Asik, who was acquired by the Bulls along with a first-round pick in their 2018 trade with the Pelicans in exchange for Nikola Mirotic, appeared in four games at the end of the 2017/18 season for Chicago. However, he was ruled out indefinitely due to inflammatory arthritis at the start of training camp last fall, and hasn’t played at all since then. Asik was also diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2017.
If a player is diagnosed with an ailment believed to be career-ending, his team is eligible to apply for cap relief one year after he last appeared in a game. In order for the Bulls to receive cap relief, an independent physician or a Fitness to Play panel would have to rule that it would be a medically unacceptable risk for Asik to return to action. The 32-year-old center would still receive his remaining salary in that scenario.
Chris Bosh, Nikola Pekovic, and Mirza Teletovic are some of the other players who have suffered career-ending injuries or illnesses and had their salaries removed from their teams’ caps in recent years.
In the event that the Bulls’ request is approved, it would remove Asik’s $3MM partial guarantee from the team’s 2019/20 cap. As we detailed earlier in the week, Chicago already projects to have upwards of $17MM in cap space this summer, so getting Asik’s cap charge removed could bump that number above $20MM.