Pelicans, Bulls Reach Agreement On Nikola Mirotic Trade

Posted February 03, 2018

In exchange, Chicago receives center Omer Asik, Jameer Nelson, Tony Allen and a 2018 first round pick with "minimal" protections.

- Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 1, 2018Jameer Nelson will join the Bulls with Asik and Allen as part of trade, league sources tell ESPN.

The Pelicans first round pick that was sent to Chicago is a protected selection in the top-5 for 2018, a top-8 in 2019 while unprotected for 2020 said league sources. Mirotic has played very well with Chicago since returning after missing 23 games to start the season averaging 16.7 points as well as 6.3 rebounds per game. If Cousins leaves as an unrestricted free agent, the Pelicans would surely be thrilled to have Mirotic at that price.

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Mirotic is now having the best season of his entire career.

The trade comes less than a week after New Orleans lost All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending injury. The altercation soured Mirotic on playing for Chicago, and the Bulls were looking to accommodate his request to be traded. Mirotic isn't a star-level talent, and New Orleans had to give up a valuable asset in order to entice the Bulls to take on Asik's contract.

Mirotic did not want to be in Chicago, and frankly, his strong play this season was not helping the Bulls. That means Mirotic would likely be on the move again. And while the New Orleans sit seventh in the Western Conference as of this writing, that could change dramatically if they keep making moves as such as these.

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Mirotic will wear #3 for the Pelicans. This has been quite a silent trade window so far, with not much happening in the National Basketball Association regarding player exchanges.

Bulls will absorb Asik's contract, which has three years left at an average of $11.5 million per year. Once the team option was exercised, Mirotic no longer owned power to veto the deal.

"I don't know if surprise is the way to look at it", Paxson said. To sort it out, here are NBA Trade Grades for both sides.

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The Bulls knew all that, knew they had no leverage with Mirotic, but yet, they failed or chose not to negotiate a second deal or a concurrent shadow deal that would've accounted for the possibility of Mirotic saying no.