The Chicago Bulls have traded forward Nikola Mirotic, 26, to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Omer Asik and a future first-round draft pick. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was first to break the news:
New Orleans is finalizing deal to acquire Nikola Mirotic, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 1, 2018
Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports originally reported the trade two days ago, but it fell through at the last second. Now, it seems as though the teams were finally able to iron out the details and get it done.
Chicago Bulls Trade Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans Pelicans
Details of the trade are still being released. Wojnarowski reports that the Bulls sent New Orleans a second-round pick and the rights to exchange second-rounders in 2021. He added that Chicago will take on more minimum expiring contracts in the trade, as the Pelicans try to free space to sign Greg Monroe. These players will be veteran guards Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson; the Bulls are expected to waive Allen after the trade.
Mirotic has a player option on his contract after this season. He is owed $12.5 million this season and the same next season, since the Pelicans are reportedly picking up his option. The Bulls signed Mirotic to the two-year, $27 million deal this past off-season.
Mirotic, a four-year NBA veteran, can provide the Pelicans with a three-point threat either off the bench or in the starting lineup. He should be a perfect fit as the Pelicans need more from the wing and are looking to stay afloat after losing DeMarcus Cousins to a torn Achilles.
The 6’10″ forward is averaging just under 17 points and more than six rebounds per game this season. He’s also shooting a stellar 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Mirotic was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 23rd overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft. He was traded to Minnesota on draft night and later traded again to the Bulls, where he has been for his entire career.
CHICAGO, USA – MARCH 22: Tobias Harris (34) of Detroit Pistons in action against Nikola Mirotic (44) of Chicago Bulls during the NBA match between Chicago Bulls vs Detroit Pistons at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, United States on March 22, 2017. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)