Pelicans trade for Nicola Mirotic, send Asik to Chicago

Pelicans trade for Nicola Mirotic, send Asik to Chicago

Javier Howell
February 2, 2018

If the Pelicans fall out of the playoff race, the Bulls stand to benefit even more, as they would then have two lottery picks (as long as the pick doesn't land in the top five). After the Pelicans agreed to guarantee the money for next season, the trade was completed Thursday. Whatever ends up being the case there, it's a near certainty that New Orleans will soon have a versatile and unsafe frontcourt regardless of who starts and who comes off the bench as they look to make some noise in the Western Conference playoff race. The Pelicans landed an experienced stretch forward to add frontcourt scoring in Boogie's stead. He's averaging 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds and shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.

"I will tell you that the draft asset that we acquired in this deal was far and away the best thing that we had got", Paxson said on a conference call. Defensively he may create some matchup issues and isn't a flawless fix, but staying aggressive makes some level of sense for the Pelicans philosophically as they aim to preserve position in the standings.

This trade had been in the works for a few days, but Mirotic, who has a no-trade clause in his two-year deal that he signed in September, wanted the final year of the contract guaranteed. Plus, the deal showed the Pels are going to keep trying to win after Cousins injury, which made Anthony Davis happy.

TNT's David Aldridge reported that the Pelicans' first-round pick will be protected for selections 1-5. Plus, they picked up an extra first-round pick in the process.

This move is a bit of a gamble for the Pelicans, but it's one they pretty much had to make.

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Nelson and Allen were both in their first season with the Pelicans.

The elephant in the room is keeping Davis happy, and this move sends the right message. But the Nikola Mirotic-Pelicans near-miss this week looks like they remarkably were extracting the value they placed on the player only to choose a negotiating approach that was sadly incomplete.

New Orleans lost DeMarcus Cousins for the year with a torn Achilles tendon, which sucks on many different levels.

Bulls executive VP John Paxson said he was pleased with what the Bulls received in return for Mirotic and was confident this was the best deal that presented itself.