Nikola Mirotic might be on his way out of Chicago. The Chicago Bulls are reportedly shopping Mirotic, and appear poised to deal him. The Bulls could find a taker for him easily if they are willing to include something else in a potential trade.
It is being reported by Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that the Chicago Bulls are actively shopping both Nikola Mirotic and Rajon Rondo. It is the Bulls hope that they can find a deal that brings back a fair return for both Mirotic and Rondo. Trading Rajon Rondo will be tricky, but can the Chicago Bulls find proper trade value for Nikola Mirotic?
Cowley goes on to explain the differences between the Chicago Bulls trading Nikola Mirotic and Rajon Rondo.
“As far as what moving Rondo or Mirotic would do, well both are very different chips to be trading. Rondo lost his starting job last month, and let the front office know then that he would like to be elsewhere. The problem is his reputation – fair or unfair – makes it difficult to accommodate.”
The Chicago Sun-Times’ report cites a source that states the Bulls could be overvaluing Mirotic.
“Obviously, you knew that would be the case with Rondo. But they don’t like what they’re hearing back on [Mirotic] either. Then again, that’s a [front office] that tends to overvalue its assets.”
Determining Nikola Mirotic’s value is difficult. The first thing to factor in is the fact that he will be a restricted free agent after the season. Also, his skill set does not mess well with every NBA team. Not many teams are going to be willing to snag Mirotic from the Bulls, and retain his rights without knowing if he is a fit with them.
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) January 22, 2017
Depending on the team that trades for Nikola Mirotic, his actual trade value fluctuates.
Truthfully, the Chicago Bulls’ power forward would be perfect with a Western Conference team. Because teams in the west have a propensity to play with a faster pace, Mirotic’s value would be higher because he excels in a quick pace offense.
Teams such as the Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trailblazers, and Sacramento Kings are perfect destinations for Mirotic. There are also a few Eastern Conference teams that would benefit from having him.
Those teams include the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, and Toronto Raptors. The type of teams the Chicago Bulls need to be in trade discussions with are those who are in need of a secondary scorer. And each of those teams fit that description.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 22, 2017
It is conceivable that the Bulls have already engaged in exploratory talks with these teams. What the Bulls are asking for in return could be what is holding things back.
As of late the Chicago Bulls have opted to give rookie Paul Zipser more meaningful minutes ahead of Nikola Mirotic. That began when Zipser was a surprise starter (courtesy of the Chicago Tribune) for the Bulls when they played against the New York Knicks, nearly two weeks ago. Zipser has been earning praise and confidence ever sense.
The Bulls cutting back on Mirotic’s playing time has not helped the trade value of their power forward. But again, his value should be determined by the team which is interested in acquiring him.
Two deals that could be out there for the Chicago Bulls involve the Portland Trailblazers and Sacramento Kings.
A Bulls’ trade with the Trailblazers could be a swap of Meyers Leonard and Mirotic, with the Bulls including a second round pick. The two players going in this trade have been huge disappointments for their teams. Both Leonard and Mirotic could be better suited playing for the opposite teams.
The Chicago Bulls could reach out to the Kings. If so, the Bulls could try and convince them that Nikola Mirotic is an ample replacement for Rudy Gay, who is lost for the season (according to the Sacramento Bee) after rupturing his Achilles.
Could the Bulls pry Ben McLemore from the Kings by offering a disappointing power forward? That is debatable, but the Bulls might be able to get a young, albeit struggling rim protector in Willie Cauley-Stein. Cauley-Stein could become the heir apparent to Taj Gibson.
If the Chicago Bulls could get a player such as Meyers Leonard, Ben McLemore, or Willie Cauley-Stein for Nikola Mirotic it should be considered as equal value. It would also mean that the Bulls are thinking creatively.
In the end, the Chicago Bulls will continue to shop Nikola Mirotic, along with Rajon Rondo. Whether or not the Bulls find a taker depends on them and how they value their power forward. The problem is that trading Mirotic is two years too late.
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