First there was a trade for Nikola Mirotic. Then there wasn't And now there is again?
According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bulls and Pelicans have agreed to a trade that would send Mirotic to New Orleans.
Much like the trade that was reported Tuesday, the Bulls look set to receive former Bulls big man Omer Asik and a future first-round draft pick. What's new is the Pelicans' supposed willingness to pick up Mirotic's $12.5 million option for the 2018-19 season.
Pelicans and Bulls have reached an agreement in principle on Mirotic trade, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 1, 2018
New Orleans is planning to guarantee the $12.5M salary of Mirotic in the 2018-19 season, league sources tell ESPN. That clinched a deal. Omer Asik and a future first-rounder part of package to Bulls, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 1, 2018
The Tribune's KC Johnson added some more details, including that the Bulls will be sending a second-round draft pick to New Orleans in the deal.
Bulls are giving the 2nd round pick acquired in the Quincy Pondexter deal back to Pelicans, per source. Bulls get first-round pick from Pelicans. Option to swap 2nd-round picks in 2 or 3 years, per source.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 1, 2018
But things aren't done, apparently.
Chicago could take one or two more minimum expiring players in the trade, which would help create roster space for Pels to sign Greg Monroe too, league sources tell ESPN. Bulls send a second round pick and the right to exchange seconds in the 2021 Draft with Pelicans.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 1, 2018
Including Chicago native Tony Allen.
Sources: Chicago has traded forward Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans for Omer Asik, Tony Allen and a first-round draft pick.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 1, 2018
And Jameer Nelson.
Jameer Nelson also is expected to be in deal, per source. He, too, will be waived along with Tony Allen.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 1, 2018
Who might not be Bulls for long.
It is unlikely the Bulls will keep Tony Allen, league sources tell ESPN. He will likely be waived and become a free agent.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 1, 2018
It's been a weird season for Mirotic, who was sidelined with facial fractures right before the season started when teammate Bobby Portis punched him in the face. Mirotic made his season debut in December and caught fire, helping the Bulls win seven straight games and 10 of 12 immediately following his return. In 25 games, Mirotic has averaged 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds, both career highs.
Asik, who spent his first two NBA seasons with the Bulls, makes a lot of money but can be bought out of his contract ahead of the 2019-20 season. He's played in just 14 games with the Pelicans this season, averaging 1.3 points and 2.6 rebounds.