The Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers have kept their trade talks going since those conversations bogged down before the NBA All-Star game. What is already known is that the Sixers have had trade discussions with several NBA teams regarding their players.
The Sixers have already dealt forward Ersan Ilyasova to the Atlanta Hawks. The Sixers sent seldom-used Tiago Splitter and two second-round draft picks in exchange for Ilyasova, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The trade likely opens up a roster as it is unlikely that Splitter will play a game in Philadelphia.
With all of the NBA trade rumors the Philadelphia 76ers have been involved in, the names of Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel were bandied about. Not that the Ersan Ilyasova trade caught anyone by surprise. The next deal the Sixers were expected to make was one where Okafor or Noel were landing with a new team. It is widely expected that one or both of them will be dealt by the 2:00 p.m. NBA trade deadline.
The 76ers took back Tiago Splitter and second-round draft picks for a player who was more productive than Noel and Okafor. What will they take for their younger, more inexperienced frontcourt players?
If either of them were to wind up in Chicago, the Bulls are hoping one of their most disappointing players go back in return. According to Yahoo Sports, the Bulls are trying to convince the 76ers to take Nikola Mirotic back in a trade. With a great sales pitch, the 76ers could become another team interested in Mirotic.
It was mentioned by the Chicago Tribune that the Los Angeles Clippers may have an interest in the Serbian forward. While the trade market for Mirotic is not what the Bulls would prefer, there are a couple of other teams that have kicked the tires.
Confidence is what Mirotic has lacked at times. When his confidence has ever been on a high, the Bulls had an extra scorer on the floor. Mirotic is tough to defend when he shows belief in his shot, the three-pointer falls, the activity on the inside is prominent, and he gets to the free throw line. Everything goes to pieces when his confidence is low. The best days can return for Mirotic, but it is difficult to see it on this Bulls team.
The Chicago Bulls were expecting great things from Nikola Mirotic, but those expectations were never realized. A change of scenery is in order for Mirotic, who can thrive while being out of the Chicago spotlight. Can the Chicago Bulls move Mirotic to the Philadelphia 76ers?
The Bulls have a talented player they are trying to unload. Although it is hard to see it given his performance with the Bulls this season, there is a lot that Nikola Mirotic can offer a team. But it has to be the right team.
The Bulls’ front office must have a belief that the Sixers are one of those teams where Mirotic can have some success. The Bulls have long valued Mirotic since he was acquired in a draft-day trade with the Houston Rockets in 2011. The love affair between the Bulls and Mirotic has eroded over the years, although not with the front office.
In January, Bulls’ guard Dwyane Wade criticized some of his teammates for what he perceives as a lack of caring during a tough loss. It is widely believed that the criticism was aimed at Mirotic. That was not the first time there has been an issue among Bulls’ players.
Problems in the Bulls’ locker room arose in part because of the preferential treatment some players think he receives from the front office. Many people think that is likely why the Bulls are reportedly looking to deal him. It would be better for the overall morale of the team, as well as his psyche.
Unless the Chicago Bulls do not receive what they are looking for with Nikola Mirotic, he will be traded. Will it be to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel?
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