May 8, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Omer Asik (3) steals the ball from Philadelphia 76ers power forward Lavoy Allen (50) during the second half of game five in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center. The Bulls won 77-69. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Looking Ahead: Free Agent Options:  #1 Omer Asik  (UFA)

The Celts need a big body, and Omer Asik fills the bill.  He’s a high energy defense and would fit brilliantly in Doc Rivers’ defensive schemes.  Like Marcin Gortat, who toiled away behind Dwight Howard, Asik is a player who is far too good to be just a backup.  

He blocks 1.0 shots per game in 14.7 minutes of time, and is a strong rebounder on both ends of the court, able to box out and beat defenders to the rim on the offensive glass.  He must improve his free throw shooting, and that became painfully evident in the Playoffs when C.J. Watson passed to Asik in the closing seconds of a loss.

Asik will not be the kind of player that fans rush out to buy jerseys of, but in time, he will win over the hearts of Celtics fans with his hard work and heady play.  His teammates will love him for the same reasons, knowing he is the type of player you can “go into battle with,” as Asik is tough enough to fight in the playoffs when things get rough.

Could Asik eventually develop into the type of player to average a double double, like Gortat did?  I’m not betting against it.  The Bulls have been reluctant to trade Asik, but will have to step up to the plate to re-sign him.  The issue of course is that the Bulls already have Joakim Noah, making Asik a costly addition.  It is quite possible that Chicago lets Asik walk.

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