Pelicans Acquire Nikola Mirotic From Bulls In Multiplayer Deal
Nikola Mirotic trade news
The Pelicans guaranteed the $12.5 million team option on Mirotic’s contract next season, which permitted the Bulls to complete the swap without the Montenegrin-Spanish star’s permission, per NBA sources. Mirotic will be 27 on Feb. 11.
Chicago received a 2018 protected first-round pick, center Omer Asik and guards Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson as part of the deal.
New Orleans had to attach a first-round pick to unload the salary of Asik, who is owed $10.5 million this season, $11.2 million in 2018-19 and $3 million in guaranteed money in 2019-20.
The Pelicans have also been aggressively pursuing center Greg Monroe, who agreed to a contract buyout with the Phoenix Suns this week.
Bulls executive VP John Paxson said he was satisfied with what the Bulls received in exchange for Mirotic, and was confident this was the greatest deal that could have presented itself.
“Niko’s representatives were consistent over the last several months that they wanted him moved,” Paxson said during a Thursday conference call. “And they never backed off that stance one bit. I’m sure that given everything that we’d heard from them through this entire process that he just wanted to be elsewhere. This satisfies what he wanted. More than that, it satisfies what we wanted to get out of it in moving him. Again, it fits our timeline, it fits the direction we’re going.”
Mirotic played five years in the Euroleague for Real Madrid before being selected as a first-round pick (No. 23 overall) by the Houston Rockets in the 2011 draft. He was then traded twice on draft night, first to the Timberwolves and then to the Bulls.
The Bulls will waive Allen but plan to keep Nelson, said league sources.
Mirotic signed a two-year deal with the Bulls in August. He has enjoyed success with the team, with averages of 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds since missing the first 23 games of the season following a scuffle during practice with Bobby Portis. Mirotic ended up with facial fractures and a concussion after the fight.
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 31: Nikola Mirotic #44 of the Chicago Bulls shoots a jumper against Chris McCullough #1 of the Brooklyn Nets during the second half at Barclays Center on October 31, 2016 in New York City.