The Chicago Bulls agree to trade Nikola Mirotic to the Pelicans
- Author: Tabitha Byrd Feb 03, 2018,
Feb 03, 2018, 1:56
Coincidentally, the Bulls acquired Pondexter and the second round pick that they're now sending to New Orleans in a trade with the Pelicans a year ago.
While this isn't a total surprise due to how the last few days have gone, it's nice to finally get some clarity and closure on what to expect moving forward. Yahoo! Sports' Shams Charania reported that Tony Allen would be included in the deal, and Woj later added that Jameer Nelson would be included.
Originally, Mirotic was to be sent to New Orleans in exchange for big man Omer Asik and a first-round pick. That means that the upcoming trade deadline is going to either be full of surprises or really bland for the Jazz.
Things changed quickly for the New Orleans Pelicans when DeMarcus Cousins tore his Achilles tendon, an injury that will keep him off the court for up to 10 months. Mirotic should work well as a stretch 4 next to Davis, and Wojnarowski is also reporting that this trade won't stop New Orleans from trying to sign Greg Monroe once he clears waivers.
Mirotić even admitted that he thought the deal with the Pelicans was close when he was pulled off the practice floor earlier this week. Stashing assets and holding onto draft picks a la the Boston Celtics is the way to go as long as 1) LeBron James is presently in the Eastern Conference 2) Golden State is still operating a dynasty in Oakland. There would be options.More news: Republican axed from ethics body after report on alleged sexual misconduct
For Chicago, the fourth-youngest team in the National Basketball Association, this trade opens the door for head coach Fred Hoiberg to give more minutes to the likes of Portis, Rookie of the Year candidate Lauri Markkanen, and Paul Zipser.
The first-round pick has "minimal" protections, the sources said.
Nikola Mirotic is on the move after all. Sending out Mirotic will likely hurt the Bulls record in the short-term and increase their own lottery odds and the value of their own pick this summer. Moreover, he's attempting (and making) the most three-pointers of his career, attempting 6.4 per game while hitting almost 43 percent of them. Not only are they giving up a valuable player in Mirotic, they're also taking back a bad contract with Asik.
The Cleveland Cavaliers could desperately use some defensive help on the wing, and they would probably salivate at the chance to land a player with the credentials Allen brings. Mirotic wanted out and the Bulls didn't need him for their future.
As it stands the Pelicans are slotted to pick No. 17 in the 2018 NBA Draft.