Chicago Bulls Trade Rumors: Nikola Mirotic, you're on the block

Nikola Mirotic

Nikola Mirotic , The Canadian Press

According to reports, the Bulls will receive a 2018 first-round pick with light protections and center Omer Asik, while sending a second-round pick they acquired from the Pelicans in a previous trade back to New Orleans.

The Bulls thought they had a deal done on Tuesday that would have sent Mirotic to the Pelicans, but because the $12.5 million team option for the 2018-19 season would not be guaranteed, he and his representatives rejected the deal.

Mirotic is averaging 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game this season. This isn't the deal that gets the Pelicans over the hump, but it should help for now. That means that the upcoming trade deadline is going to either be full of surprises or really bland for the Jazz. "We were pleased when we drafted him years ago, and he gave us a lot of good basketball".

Mirotic never did get that starting spot back that the punch cost him, largely in part to the emergence of rookie Lauri Markkanen.

Coming in on the list of "not shocking news", the Bulls are continuing the direction of "the tank" as Mirotic will likely be the first casualty of trade.

Mirotic did not want to be in Chicago, and frankly, his strong play this season was not helping the Bulls.

Well, maybe. Let's split this into two separate deals, imagining that Chicago had separately traded Mirotic for an expiring contract and then swapped that expiring contract to New Orleans for the remainder of Asik's deal. This was Mirotic's final pump-fake as a member of the Bulls.

"I said to myself: 'It's happening". They surrendered a first-round pick, and Jameer Nelson's departure may hurt more than people expect - though so long as Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo stay healthy, it shouldn't be that big of a deal. "It's just consistent with the direction and plan that we had talked about this summer on draft when we made the (Butler) trade".

Now, the trade is happening, according to multiple reports.

However, just as the trade seemed to be finalized, it reportedly "fell apart". That had been a sticking point in a deal earlier in the week, but with further negotiations the two sides worked things out. He also could become a trade chip down the road, or a stretch waiver candidate, which would allow the Bulls to spread his salary-cap hit over several seasons.

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