Bobby and Niko walk off the court

Trading Nikola Mirotic at the 2018 trading deadline was met with much debate by fans who were watching Niko’s game finally come to fruition.  As the Pelicans storm through the playoffs, the move was still the right decision to make.

Nikola Mirotic has proved an adequate enough replacement for DeMarcus Cousins since his season ending injury.  His presence along with Rajon Rondo has provided a singular spark to a team many thought would crumble after Cousins went down.

More to the point, Mirotic has been playing the best basketball of his career since landing in New Orleans.  Bulls fans, who see the lack of plus talent on the team, have pondered whether the trade decision still made sense.

Afterall, the Pelicans just swept the #3 seeded Trail Blazers to advance to the semi-conference finals.  It’s safe to say that no one saw this taking place.  But even more surprising has been the play of Mirotic who has averaged 18.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks.

Yes the Pelicans did lean on Anthony Davis.  The legend of playoff Rajon continues.  And Jrue Holiday balled out of his mind averaging 27.8 points, 4 rebounds, and 6.5 assists.  But Mirotic’s numbers as a solid 3rd option can’t be denied.

That doesn’t mean that the Bulls, as well as other teams, were somehow wrong in their assessments of Mirotic.  Mirotic just simply didn’t fit the direction that the Bulls were going in like tanking (he was helping them win games).  Also he was eating away at Lauri Markkanen’s minutes which could have stunted his development in his first year.

The Bulls will have a solid big man rotation of Lauri and Bobby Portis moving forward so Mirotic’s services were expendable.

Having their own pick plus the Pelicans will allow the Bulls to find a quality player with high upside in this year’s draft.  Seems like a win-win for both sides.

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