Omer Asik continues to impress in his recovery from the fractured fibula that ended his strong rookie season with the Chicago Bulls during the Eastern Conference finals.
Asik posted 12 points and eight rebounds Monday as Turkey downed tournament favorite Spain 65-57 in EuroBasket play in Lithuania. Spain played without Pau Gasol. Turkey clinched a berth in the tournament’s second round with the victory. Spain already had advanced with previous victories.
Asik is averaging 6.5 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 62.5 percent in the tournament.
Earlier Monday, Luol Deng had 28 points and 14 rebounds as Great Britain prevented Poland from advancing to the second round with an 88-81 triumph.
Deng’s play isn’t surprising. He did the same thing last summer. Asik’s isn’t necessarily that surprising either…but it’s a major relief to know he has (seemingly) fully recovered from that fractured fibula.
Assuming the Bulls can’t make a significant free agent signing — let’s say a Jason Richardson — they must either improve from within or make one or more trades (this assumes the team, as constructed, isn’t championship-ready). Omer’s continuing improvement can either make the Bulls better or pave the way for a trade (either of Asik himself, Asik and other parts, another big man, etc.).