National Basketball Association pocket book: Pelicans commerce for Bulls' Mirotic

The New Orleans Pelicans have confirmed that they have acquired Mirotić from the Bulls in exchange for a 2018 first-round pick, seldom-used center Ömer Aşık, and guards Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson.

The two sides were close to finalizing this deal earlier in the week, but talks stalled due to uncertainty about what the Pelicans would do with the team option on his contract for next season.

Cousins, who was having a Most Valuable Player-caliber season, according to Gentry, averaged 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds in 48 total games prior to the injury. The Pelicans will also get a second-round pick. "I thought Niko handled it really, really well". The Mirotic trade also served as a means to give youngsters like center Cris Felicio and forward Paul Zipser more playing time, Paxson said. Still, New Orleans is in a bind and this is potentially the best-case scenario for salvaging their season. The Bulls reportedly plan to waive both Allen and Nelson, meaning they will be available to sign with a contender.

The Bulls had decided Wednesday to shut Mirotic down while continuing to explore trade options prior to the February 8 deadline.

That's not a bad haul for a Bulls team that has had Mirotic on the block for the vast majority of the season.

Plus, if the Bulls are desperate to move up in the draft in the summer, they have two first-round picks to potentially dangle if they want to.

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.

"I've never experienced an injury of this magnitude in my life", Cousins tweeted, "but that being said nothing I've earned has ever come easy for me either!".

"For a trade to be completed, Mirotic would have to approve a deal that didn't include a guarantee on his 2018-19 salary".

This trade is unlikely to help the Pelicans much in the long term, though.

Ultimately, I think this is a better deal for the Bulls than it looks at first glance, if not necessarily a good one. With Dunn out, Nelson will stick with the Bulls initially, and perhaps for the rest of the season on his minimum, expiring deal. Portis was suspended for eight games.

In addition, Chicago will have the right to swap its 2021 second-round pick with New Orleans' own 2021 second-round pick.

All was not well with the Bulls at the start of the season.

  • Stacy Allen