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Nikola Mirotic trade grades: Who wins the deal?

03 February 2018

The Bulls will receive former Bull, Omer Asik, Tony Allen (which is rumored to be waived), a first-round pick with few limitations, along with the opportunity to swap second-round picks, along with a locker room presence in Jameer Nelson.

The Pelicans first round pick that was sent to Chicago is a protected selection in the top-5 for 2018, a top-8 in 2019 while unprotected for 2020 said league sources. Finally, the Bulls will have the right to exchange seconds in the 2021 draft with the Pelicans, which has no immediate relevance but could in the future if Anthony Davis leaves and New Orleans bottoms out.

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Ultimately, I think this is a better deal for the Bulls than it looks at first glance, if not necessarily a good one.

Such cost-controlled rookie contracts are invaluable to an organization with limited flexibility, and at some point the Pelicans are going to need to add young talent to the roster. He's averaging 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds and shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. After the trade went through officially, Mirotic took to Twitter to thank the city of Chicago and the dedication that Bulls fans have shown. Meanwhile, they'll get back a second-round pick, opening up a spot to sign Greg Monroe, who they are expected to pursue off waivers. However, the Bulls can stretch that out before next season and just pay out $2.9 million over five years - a negligible price given their current situation. To his credit, Mirotic consistently complimented Hoiberg and played the best basketball of his NBA career when he returned from his injuries and led a seven-game winning streak. Of course, they obtained that record in large part due to DeMarcus Cousins, who suffered a ruptured Achilles' tendon last week - the reason the Pelicans dealt for Mirotic.

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With just over a week remaining before the trade deadline closes, time is quickly ticking on a potential deal for the Montenegro-born man.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Pelicans will guarantee the rest of Mirotic's salary for this season. Operating below the salary floor now and with no designs of playoff contention in 2018-'19, the Bulls were willing to absorb the bad contract.

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

Nikola Mirotic trade grades: Who wins the deal?