03 February, 2018
Originally, Mirotic was to be sent to New Orleans in exchange for big man Omer Asik and a first-round pick. With a Mirotic trade, the pre-emptive waiving of Tony Allen, the Asik contract and style of play since the start of the year, Gar Forman and John Paxson finally get it.
Talks between the two sides publicly fell through on Tuesday. 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. Let's grade the deal.
Mirotic will join the Pelicans in wake of DeMarcus Cousins' season-ending surgery for a ruptured Achilles.
Taking on a bad contract might not have been the Bulls' first choice on Tuesday, but all I know is this is Thursday and we're still wondering to which team Mirotic nearly will be traded today.
Getting Mirotic for the remainder of this season and getting off Asik's salary did come at a price.
However, that deal has collapsed and the two teams have been unable to complete the trade due to Mirotic awaiting his $12.5 million team option for the 2018-19 season to be exercised. As he was traded on Thursday to the New Orleans Pelicans. Bringing in both Monroe and Mirotic is ostensibly an improvement for the short-term. Now, however, with the Pelicans agreeing to guarantee Mirotic's $12.5M team option for next season, the deal is on its way. Plus, the deal showed the Pels are going to keep trying to win after Cousins injury, which made Anthony Davis happy.More news: Google adds audio books on Play Store; here's how to get them
The Bulls are basically giving up an unhappy player and eating a bad contract in return for what should be a mid-first-round pick. The pick is reportedly top-five protected for the upcoming draft, meaning Chicago will likely have it right away. Plus, they picked up an extra first-round pick in the process.
The elephant in the room is keeping Davis happy, and this move sends the right message.
Mirotic can help "replace" Cousins as a stretch big man, though he clearly lacks numerous qualities that make Cousins such a special player. This isn't the deal that gets the Pelicans over the hump, but it should help for now.
The Bulls' wheeling and dealing will not stop there, according to a report.
Finding a deal for Noah and the three years, $54 million left on his contract has already been a futile task for the Knicks, who, league sources say, are unwilling to attach significant future draft assets or young Knicks players to incentivize a team to take on Noah.