Pelicans to acquire Nikola Mirotic for three players, first-round pick

Nikola Mirotic

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. Guard Tony Allen, forward Omer Asik, and guard Jameer Nelson will also head to Chicago.

National Basketball Association insider David Aldridge reports the first round pick is top-five protected for 2018, while Johnson added that Jameer Nelson would be included in the deal.

The Pels owe Asik $10.5 million this season, $11.2 million next season, and an additional $3 million in the 2019-2020 season, according to Wojnarowski's report. This will be the big man's second stint with Chicago; he played for them from 2010-2012, his first two seasons in the league. After a buyout, the Hawks ended up owing Crawford $13.3 million - almost the same as the $14.3 million left on Asik's contract.

The Montenegro product has averaged 16.8 points and more than six rebounds a game for Chicago this season.

When it was all done and he took to the phone line late Thursday afternoon, Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson explained that it simply "made sense" to continue a plan that began with the trade of star Jimmy Butler on draft night last June.

"New Orleans is planning to guarantee the $12.5M salary of Mirotic in the 2018-19 season, league sources tell ESPN". After having started only 3 games his rookie year, Nikola would start 38 total games his second season.

For Chicago, the fourth-youngest team in the National Basketball Association, this trade opens the door for head coach Fred Hoiberg to give more minutes to the likes of Portis, Rookie of the Year candidate Lauri Markkanen, and Paul Zipser. This was Mirotic's final pump-fake as a member of the Bulls.




We'll update this post if any further details emerge.

So the Jazz roster will remain unchanged for now, but with just a week until the trade deadline, don't be surprise if that isn't the case by the next Jazz home game on February 9th.

Mirotic signed a two-year deal with the Bulls in August.

But there's one more wrinkle to this deal.

Shortly after, Mirotic's representation made it known that he wanted out of Chicago, even though he wouldn't be eligible to be traded until January 15.

Also, according to Shams Charania, the Bulls are waiving Quincy Pondexter to help accommodate for all of the moving pieces.

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