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Pelicans agree on deal to trade for Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic

Pelicans agree on deal to trade for Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic

Mirotic will go to New Orleans, with salary playing a major role in the transaction.

The New Orleans Pelicans added some frontcourt help Thursday by trading center Omer Asik, guard Jameer Nelson, guard and a protected 2018 first-round pick in exchange for Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic and a 2018 second-round pick.

The first-round pick the Bulls will receive has minimal protections, and they are likely to get that pick for the July draft.

The Bulls themselves are angling once again for a spot at the lottery table, as per the original plan.

The Bulls had decided Wednesday to shut Mirotic down while continuing to explore trade options prior to the February 8 deadline.

The team remains unsure of the status of Allen, Paxson said, though it's expected that he'll be waived.




Boston has the advantage of using part of its $8.4 million disabled player exception gained after the Gordon Hayward injury to sign Monroe, which would give them the ability to pay him more than teams that could only offer the veteran's minimum. Nelson played 43 games this season while averaging 5.1 points and 3.6 assists. The forward is draining almost 43 percent of his 3-point attempts, which is well above his career average of 36 percent. Health has been a recent issue for Asik though; he has only played in 45 games over the last two seasons while recovering from Chron's Disease.

Other teams could also be affected by this news, mostly because Allen and Nelson may not be long for Chicago. And when Darius Miller (42.1 percent this season, 39.4 percent) swaps in for Rondo and moves Holiday to the point, New Orleans will have one of the league's better shooting fivesomes. He also seems like the obvious candidate to replace the injured DeMarcus Cousins in the starting lineup.

Mirotic can help "replace" Cousins as a stretch big man, though he clearly lacks numerous qualities that make Cousins such a special player.

In the first game following Cousins' injury, the Pelicans lost 112-103 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday at the Smoothie King Center. For the Pelicans, this move represents a wise stopgap measure to keep Anthony Davis and keep the team on its current course for the playoffs.

In return, the Hawks got the Houston Rockets' first-round pick, one that's probably going to end up either 28th or 29th.

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