Aşık will play for Turkey in the World Basketball Championships, hosted by Turkey between Aug. 28 and Sept. 12 and will not be with the Bulls until then. The Bulls are optimistic about Aşık and believe he can be a high-level reserve behind Joakim Noah, which reduces their concern about adding another big man.
The 24-year-old Aşık, 2.13 meters tall, was drafted 36th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2008 NBA draft and immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls in a three-team deal.
The Bursa-born Aşık started his professional career with Turkish Basketball League giant Fenerbahçe in 2005-06. He then moved to Alpella and played for only one season (2006-07) before returning to Fenerbahçe Ülker where he played for three seasons (2007-2010) until Saturday, when he officially became a Bull.
Aşık therefore is following in the footsteps of his Fener Ülker teammate, center Semih Erden, who has also moved to the other side of the Atlantic and will be playing for the Boston Celtics in the upcoming NBA season.
Turkish All Star Aşık has been prone to injury lately. He had knee surgery to repair torn ligaments in the 2008-09 season and then in December 2009 was out for two months due to a broken collarbone.
Hopefully Aşık is now as fit as a fiddle and will represent Turkey well in the NBA, just like his predecessors Mehmet Okur, Hidayet “Hedo” Türkoğlu and Ersan İlyasova.