Nikola Mirotic Traded to Pelicans from Bulls in Deal Involving Omer Asik

Nikola Mirotic of the Chicago Bulls shoots against Kevon Looney of the Golden State Warriors at the United Center

Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson are also said to be included in the deal.

In exchange, the Bulls will get the Pelicans' 2018 first round pick, which will come with a top-five protection, according to NBA TV's David Aldridge.

Our Bulls Guru K.C. Johnson reported Wednesday the possibility the Bulls could take on another bad Pelicans contract and pick up Mirotic's option to eliminate trade veto rights. According to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune, the franchise is keen to pursue a deal for him before February 8. They have a nice young core, but they need another top pick in this loaded draft, and Mirotic's departure should help them get a higher pick.

Bulls will absorb Asik's contract, which has three years left at an average of $11.5 million per year.

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Mirotic is averaging 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game this season, and he should give the Pelicans' frontcourt a boost as they look to overcome the loss of DeMarcus Cousins. "And I'm sure the Bulls are doing what's best for them, too", Mirotic said. This has been quite a silent trade window so far, with not much happening in the National Basketball Association regarding player exchanges.

How could the Bulls think Mirotic would risk losing a guaranteed $12.5 million?

Fighting through the awkwardness and resentment, it has been understood and seen from his play that Mirotic did everything in his power to act as a professional after the unfortunate events, but in the end, he wanted out and the Bulls made it happen.

Then Mirotic returned, and despite there still clearly being a rift between him and Portis, the Bulls started winning. And that's not even counting Mirotic potentially vetoing this deal. He also could become a trade chip down the road, or a stretch waiver candidate, which would allow the Bulls to spread his salary-cap hit over several seasons.

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The team remains unsure of the status of Allen, Paxson said, though it's expected that he'll be waived.

"Our goal in this in order to move him was to get a draft asset that we thought was valuable to us, and we feel we've done that", Paxson said.

Nelson and Allen each signed one-year deals in the offseason and are potential buyout/waiver candidates.

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