Pelicans, Bulls Reach Agreement On Nikola Mirotic Trade

Facebook  Rodney Wood Rodney Wood and his newly born son Rodney Jr in this March 2016

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the New Orleans Pelicans and the Chicago Bulls are working on a trade to send Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans.

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".

He is averaging 16.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 24.9 minutes per game this season and is shooting.474 from the field, .429 from three and.823 from the free-throw line. Obviously, Mirotic isn't close to the same caliber of player that Cousins is, but he can provide some floor spacing for Rajon Rondo and Anthony Davis.

What does this trade mean for New Orleans, Chicago and the rest of the league? The internet will never forgive them for straight-up selling the second-rounder that became Jordan Bell, and now the team seems willing to take on money for draft picks. That's a smart play that you might've expected to have been negotiated Tuesday to ensure that a deal landing the rebuilding Bulls another first-round draft pick was completed. "And I'm sure the Bulls are doing what's best for them, too", Mirotic said.

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That's not a bad haul for a Bulls team that has had Mirotic on the block for the vast majority of the season. That's a smart play if dumping Mirotic for a good return was as important to the Bulls as it appears to be.

"There's nothing, nothing I would change right now, " Mirotic said. That said, if New Orleans was going to trade a first-round pick, this was a reasonable use of it - certainly compared to trading a first-round pick to get Asik in the first place. It doesn't solve long-term financial issues that may come back to hinder the Pelicans over the next few years, but shedding Asik's contract and getting something back of substance is an achievement on some level. "It's just consistent with the direction and plan that we talked about [last] summer when we made the [Butler] trade".

Now, the trade is happening, according to multiple reports. According to sources, he didn't love the Bulls publicly acknowledging his role as aggressor in the Portis altercation, or the fact Portis was allowed to practice during his eight-game suspension. Coincidentally, the Bulls waived Pondexter to make room for the incoming players. However, the Bulls can stretch that out before next season and just pay out $2.9 million over five years - a negligible price given their current situation.