Bulls trade Mirotic to New Orleans

Report: Utah Jazz hoping to acquire Nikola Mirotic after his Pelicans trade collapses

Report: Bulls Shutting Down Nikola Mirotic Until Trade Deadline

The Bulls have agreed to a deal with the Pelicans that will send Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans, according to a report. Wojnarowski also notes that the Bulls will likely waive Allen and Nelson. Sending out another first round pick is hard (sounds like it will be a lightly protected 2018 selection) but the Pelicans have boxed themselves into needing to stay competitive. This will be the big man's second stint with Chicago; he played for them from 2010-2012, his first two seasons in the league. You just picked up Omer Asik for $11.2 million next season and even if Asik will only receive $3 million for 2019-20, paying a center who's playing garbage time at best is never ideal.

In 25 games Mirotic is averaging 16.8 points on 43 percent shooting from the 3-point line and 6.4 rebounds. Though it's a little tough to tell exactly where the Pelicans will finish with Mirotic but without Cousins, let's say for the sake of argument we expect them to finish with the 18th pick.

Mentioned in trade rumors to various destinations, the next player on the roster expected to be dealt will be Center Robin Lopez. Operating below the salary floor now and with no designs of playoff contention in 2018-'19, the Bulls were willing to absorb the bad contract.

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Following a fight between Mirotic and Bobby Portis last October, the Bulls clearly had to choose between keeping Mirotic or Portis beyond this year. Despite being drafted in the 2011 draft, Mirotic would not see an National Basketball Association court until the 2014 season.

The Pelicans are apparently now ready to pick up Mirotic's $12.5 million contract option for next season.

"Our goal in this in order to move him was to get a draft asset that we thought was valuable to us, and we feel we've done that", Paxson said. Tellingly, when asked about waiving players, Paxson said a week remains until the February 8 deadline.

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Mirotic signed a two-year deal with the Bulls in August. Once the team option was exercised, Mirotic no longer owned power to veto the deal.

Also, according to Shams Charania, the Bulls are waiving Quincy Pondexter to help accommodate for all of the moving pieces.

But there's one more wrinkle to this deal.

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