Chicago Bulls’ forward Nikola Mirotic is been on the radar of the Utah Jazz, per the NBA trade rumors that are surrounding both teams. It has been widely speculated that the Jazz and Bulls have discussed a trade sending Mirotic to Utah. After a reported season-ending injury to one of the Jazz key players, Utah may expedite those trade talks with the Bulls.
According to NBA.com, Utah Jazz wing Thabo Sefolosha will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his MCL on Friday night. Sefolosha has played a key role off of the bench for the Jazz as a three-and-D player. Losing the 6-foot-7 Sefolosha hurts the Jazz’s chances at playoff contention.
Enter Nikola Mirotic of the Chicago Bulls. Mirotic has had his name mentioned in NBA trade rumors for over a month. The Jazz are joined by the Detroit Pistons and Portland Trail Blazers in having an interest in Nikola Mirotic. There is another factor which has come into play regarding a potential trade.
Nikola Mirotic officially became eligible to be included in a trade on Monday. It is one of the worst-kept secrets in basketball. Now that Nikola Mirotic can be traded, the Chicago Bulls will be fielding calls regarding his availability.
Nikola Mirotic has become a coveted player. Especially now in the wake of the season-ending injury to Thabo Sefolosha of the Utah Jazz. Sefolosha’s injury opens the door for the Jazz to reach out to the Chicago Bulls and make a strong offer for Mirotic.
Nikola Mirotic holds the cards in any of the trade scenarios he is involved in. Given the type of contract Mirotic signed with the Bulls, he has the leverage. Nikola Mirotic has a no-trade clause due to his Bulls’ two-year deal.
When asked about his NBA future with the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, Nikola Mirotic was mum. Mirotic would only talk about the upcoming game (courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times) against the Detroit Pistons.
#Bulls' Niko Mirotic on if he wants to remain in Chicago: "I want to win tonight. That's all I want to do. Like I said before, from tomorrow, we'll see. But I'm happy in Chicago. I'm obviously very happy. And my family too, we all love Chicago. We're more than thankful."
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) January 13, 2018
If there is any validity to the growing NBA trade rumors that Nikola Mirotic is keen on the idea (courtesy of ESPN) of playing for the Utah Jazz. The Jazz might be Nikola Mirotic’s next team.
Trade talks between the Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls should heat up now that Thabo Sefolosha is done for the year. Nikola Mirotic can now be traded.
With teams in the Western Conference trying to battle for the last three playoff spots, the Jazz may be willing to outbid other teams for Mirotic. The Jazz will at least want a leg up on the competition.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 10, 2018
The Utah Jazz are currently four games in the loss column behind the eighth seeded Denver Nuggets. An addition of Nikola Mirotic, who can be viewed as a possible replacement to Gordon Hayward could make a difference.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Jazz have offered the Bulls Derrick Favors in a trade for Nikola Mirotic. Now that Sefolosha has been lost for the season the Jazz could also throw in a protected draft pick as well.
If the Jazz makes an offer for Nikola Mirotic such as that the Bulls may have to include something else. Perhaps the Bulls would throw in Paul Zipser with Nikola Mirotic in a trade for Derrick Favors and a draft pick. The Jazz may accept that package from the Bulls in an effort to land Mirotic.
— Sun-Times Sports (@suntimes_sports) January 11, 2018
There is always a possibility of a third team getting involved in the trade talks regarding Nikola Mirotic. The Chicago Bulls would prefer a draft pick versus taking on a long-term salary. The Jazz offer of Derrick Favors may or may not appeal to the Bulls when giving up Mirotic.
The depth of the Utah Jazz took a huge hit once Thabo Sefolosha went down. That could make the Jazz act in urgency in their trade talks with the Chicago Bulls for Nikola Mirotic.
Again, Nikola Mirotic has control in where he gets traded to. The leverage is In Nikola Mirotic’s hands. Mirotic could essentially say no to every trade proposal that the Chicago Bulls put in front of him. That must also be considered as a reason for any urgency by the Utah Jazz.