Mirotic Reportedly Heading to Pelicans in New Commerce

Arnold Nichols
February 3, 2018

The Chicago Bulls have agreed to trade Nikola Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans after the Pellies agreed to let the Bulls pick up Mirotic's second-year option worth $12.5 million.

Per Wojnarowski: "Mirotic signed a two-year deal with the Bulls in August that included a team option that's subject to the NBA's one-year Bird provision". Since returning from that injury in December, Mirotic has averaged almost 17 points and more than six rebounds per game while recording an incredible 62.4 percent True Shooting Percentage. He was on a path to being a free agent in summer 2019, when the Bulls will nearly certainly have given Zach LaVine big money and when Kris Dunn will be eligible for a rookie extension.

No, Mirotic is not likely to continue shooting as well as he has this season - 42.9 percent from 3-point range, 52.5 percent on 2s, for a career-high.624 true shooting percentage.

The Pelicans lost All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in the final seconds of a win over the Houston Rockets on January 26. Originally acquired by the Pelicans in the summer of 2014, Asik has appeared in 189 regular season games for New Orleans, averaging 4.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per contest. Not only are they giving up a valuable player in Mirotic, they're also taking back a bad contract with Asik.

Asik will admittedly be a strain on the Bulls' salary cap, as he's set to make $10.6 million this year, $11.3 million next season and can be bought out in 2019 for $3 million.

Whatever the case, the fact of the matter is that the hottest trade rumor relating to the Utah Jazz has been officially snuffed out.

Mirotic returned to the court on December 8th and since has inspired a 15-12 run which has lifted the Bulls to 12th. And that's not even counting Mirotic potentially vetoing this deal.

As for Nelson, a veteran point guard who is capable of creating shots and hitting 3s, there should be plenty of demand for his services if the Bulls end up letting him go in the near future.

"We wish him the best with this new opportunity in New Orleans".

The meaning for Mirotic is clear.

"I said: 'OK, be calm".

With a record of 27-23, the Pelicans were in line for the No. 17 pick in the draft entering play Thursday night.

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