The Chicago Bulls agree to trade Nikola Mirotic to the Pelicans

Kristopher Nichols
February 2, 2018

Maybe Bulls management wonks believed Mirotic desperately wanted to bolt Chicago after suffering a concussion and broken facial bones as a result of Bobby Portis' punch and subsequent demand that the team trade him or Portis.

Asik, a future first-rounder and guards Jameer Nelson and Tony Allen are heading to Chicago, though Wojnarowski says Allen is likely to be waived by the Bulls.

As Danny Leroux of The Athletic noted on Twitter, last summer the Atlanta Hawks took on the final two years of Jamal Crawford's contract as part of a three-team deal with the Clippers that also landed Danilo Gallinari in Los Angeles via sign-and-trade. Per league rules, he had temporary no-trade rights because the team had not yet picked up his $12.5 million option for next season.

In 25 games Mirotic is averaging 16.8 points on 43 percent shooting from the 3-point line and 6.4 rebounds. That means that the upcoming trade deadline is going to either be full of surprises or really bland for the Jazz.

Mirotic can help "replace" Cousins as a stretch big man, though he clearly lacks numerous qualities that make Cousins such a special player.

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New Orleans, now ranked fifth in the National Basketball Association in three-point field goal percentage, add some more shooting with the acquisition of Mirotic. "They never backed off that stance one bit. And I'm sure the Bulls are doing what's best for them, too", Mirotic said.

Mirotic did not want to be in Chicago, and frankly, his strong play this season was not helping the Bulls. Once the team option was exercised, Mirotic no longer owned power to veto the deal.

The serendipity of DeMarcus Cousins' season-ending injury-I'm still bummed out over that-helped make this happen. Is all that worth a pick in the middle of the first round? That was a sticking point in getting the deal done a few days ago. The extra first-round pick will hopefully be conveyed this year and give them another bite at the apple in what could be a very nice draft class. Locking in multiple picks in consecutive years also ensures that the meat of their young core is on a very similar trajectory in terms of age and development. His fit alongside Anthony Davis will be the most interesting aspect of the deal, however, there is wide speculation that an additional motivating factor of the trade was to clear cap space in order to allow the Pelicans sign Greg Monroe who was recently bought out by the Phoenix Suns. I'm not regretting any decisions I made this summer.

But Nikola Mirotic might not be the Pelicans' only get this season.

To make room on their roster, the Bulls will reportedly release Quincy Pondexter, according to Wojnarowski's report.

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