By Richard Kagan
The rumors persisted for weeks. And when DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans was seriously injured, out for the rest of the season, things heated up on the Nikola Mirotic trade front. Now, Mirotic has been traded to the Pelicans after the Chicago Bulls did some ginger negotiating and threw in some sweeteners to get Omer Asik, a former Bulls center and rights to the Pelicans’ first round draft pick. The Bulls also got Jameer Nelson and Tony Allen. It is expected that the Bulls will waive Allen and keep Nelson.
The Bulls also gave their rights to the second round draft pick in 2018 to N.O. And, Quincy Pondexter was waived by the Bulls to create a roster spot. The Pelicans picked up Mirotic’s options rights, worth $12.5 million dollars.
It seems all to acquire that elusive number one draft pick from the Pelicans.
John Paxson of the Bulls management said, ‘We want to thank Niko for the time he spent here.” Paxson went on the state that Mirotic played good basketball. “We wish him well in New Orleans.”
This season started with Bobby Portis landing a punch to Mirotic’s face, breaking several bones and causing a concussion. Mirotic eventually was able to put the incident behind him and played consistently well, averaging 16.8 ppg and 6.4 rebounds in 25 games.
The Bulls went on a winning streak and played competitively and was a pleasant surprise to those who follow Bulls basketball.
The Bulls are concentrating on player development and gathering players. The Bulls may not be done trading. But Mirotic is headed to New Orleans and the Bulls will have two number one picks in the next draft.