The Chicago Bulls were ready to send Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans in exchange for Omer Asik and a first round pick on Tuesday but the trade ultimately fell through.
Essentially, Mirotic has control over his future with a trade. He can't be sure that New Orleans will pick up his $12.5M option next season — unless Chicago does it for him prior to completing the trade. It is understandable why Mirotic isn't eager to cost himself that $12.5M.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 30, 2018
Without that guaranteed $12.5M, Mirotic did not want to complete the trade, because, duh.
Mirotic is as good as gone, especially with news that he will not play for the Bulls again until the trade deadline passes.
This got me to thinking, What are the best possible trades for not only Niko but other members of the Bulls?
I’m not going to include the initial Bulls-Pelicans trade because that’s boring and that could realistically still be completed in the next 24 hours. I will, however, give you 2 realistic trades, and 1 “maybe not so realistic but it’s the NBA so anything can happen” trade. (CC: Blake Griffin)
Say hello to the Trade Machine.
The Bulls receive Meyers Leonard, Noah Vonleh, and a 2018 1st rounder.
The Trail Blazers receive Nikola Mirotic and a future 2nd.
This one is a trade that was actually reported on a while back. While the actual players weren’t named in the rumors, it’s a trade that I could see happening. The Bulls get a 1st rounder, and two young big men, while the Blazers get a stretch 4 that fits perfectly with their current core.
Obviously, the key prize is the 1st rounder, which will probably be a mid-round pick, but still a nice haul for Niko. Collecting assets is key in the NBA and the contracts on Lenoard and Vonleh aren’t back-breaking by any means.
The Bulls receive Alex Abrines and a protected future first.
The Thunder receive Justin Holiday and Jerian Grant.
Okay so hear me out. This trade isn’t going to break NBA Twitter but it’s beneficial to both teams.
The Thunder just lost Roberson for the year, arguably their best perimeter defender, so they are in need of another wing. Enter Justin Holiday. He plays pretty decent defense and he can shoot the 3. He’s the perfect 3-and-D guy off the bench. I also threw in Jerian Grant because it would arguably be an upgrade for them at backup PG over Raymond Felton.
For the Bulls, well, they get worse, which is a good thing. They also get a protected future 1st, because again, assets are key. It will also free up the backup PG position to get minutes for both Cam Payne and Antonio Blakeney.
The Bulls receive Anthony Davis.
The Pelicans receive Nikola Mirotic, Zach LaVine, Denzel Valentine, 2018 1st rounder, and a future 1st rounder.
I’m JUST throwing it out there, that’s all.
(Photo by GARY DINEEN / NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES)
Wanna talk Bulls? Tweet me @jdez_xo