The Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans had agreed upon a deal that would have sent Nikola Mirotic to the Pelicans in exchange for Omer Asik and a future first round pick. The deal ultimately fell through because Mirotic refused to sign off on a deal that wouldn’t guarantee his 2018-2019 salary. Both teams could still complete the trade without his permission but the Pelicans have been reluctant to pick up Mirotic’s 12.5 million option for next year.
From a Bulls perspective, they would have had to absorb Asik’s remaining 25 million dollars left on his contract, which in essence is what they would have been paying for the attached 1st round pick. The teams front office could be called out for their inconsistent direction. In this past years draft, they sold their second round pick to the Warriors for only 3.5 million dollars in cash. For a team that is trying to rebuild, trading away picks and taking on huge salaries does seem a bit counterintuitive.
With talks having stalled for now, both teams could revisit a potential trade before the Feb 8th deadline. Mirotic will try to continue his consistent level of play that has seen his averages across the board go up in a career season. His ability to stretch the floor and put the ball in the basket will continue to have his name come up in any potential deals.