The Chicago Bulls will trade sharpshooting forward Nikola Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Omer Asik and a first round pick, an interesting trade for the Pelicans, and one that I would have loved if DeMarcus Cousins was not out for the season after suffering a torn Achilles last week. You can argue that no player in the NBA needed a change of scenery more than Nicola Mirotic, he was punched in the face by teammate Bobby Portis before the season, and suffered broken bones in his face. The Pelicans have long needed players who can stretch the floor, and knock down open threes when defenses double team star Anthony Davis, and Mirotic is averaging 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while making 2.8 three pointers per game. I love the fit with the Pelicans for Mirotic, but I would have loved it more if Cousins did not get injured, because there were whispers that the top teams in the West were actually terrified to face the Pelicans during playoff time before Cousins was lost for the season. The trade makes sense for the Bulls, their locker room was uncomfortable since Portis punched Mirotic, and getting a first round pick in exchange for Mirotic helps with their rebuilding efforts. Asik is guaranteed only $3 million next season, so he will likely be released, to save the Bulls cap space.
UPDATE: The deal fell through.
UPDATE: The deal has now been completed. It’s a first round pick and the corpses of Omer Asik, Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson for Nikola Mirotic. The Pelicans also get back a second round pick.
UPDATE: The Pelicans are also attempting to sign Greg Monroe who was bought out by the Phoenix Suns last night.