Bulls trade F to Pelicans for 3 players, 1st-round pick

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Mirotic has spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chicago Bulls after getting drafted in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft.

The Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to terms on a deal that will send forward Nikola Mirotic and a second-round pick to New Orleans for center Omer Asik, guards Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson and a protected 2018 first-round pick, the teams announced Thursday.

Taking on a bad contract might not have been the Bulls' first choice on Tuesday, but all I know is this is Thursday and we're still wondering to which team Mirotic nearly will be traded today. Per league rules, he had temporary no-trade rights because the team had not yet picked up his $12.5 million option for next season.

Mirotic, 26, is averaging a career-best 16.8 points to go with 6.4 rebounds while shooting at a 43 percent mark from distance this season.

With a record of 27-23, the Pelicans were in line for the No. 17 pick in the draft entering play Thursday night. "I know that because I won my spot and was named the starter, so it means I did something really right this summer".

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This comes as a blow to New Orleans who are desperate to find a replacement after DeMarcus Cousins was ruled out for the remainder of the year with a torn Achilles. "They never backed off that stance one bit". Though it's a little tough to tell exactly where the Pelicans will finish with Mirotic but without Cousins, let's say for the sake of argument we expect them to finish with the 18th pick. In three-plus seasons with the Bulls, Mirotic averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 rebounds. The Bulls were sitting at 3-20 at the time, and Mirotic guaranteed that the winning would start because "Niko's back". Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that the Pelicans pick holds "minimal" protections.

"I'm exhausted, man. I'm exhausted", Marbury said.

The Bulls' wheeling and dealing will not stop there, according to a report. Once the team option was exercised, Mirotic no longer owned power to veto the deal.

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. He also could become a trade chip down the road, or a stretch waiver candidate, which would allow the Bulls to spread his salary-cap hit over several seasons. The Bulls also waived forward Quincy Pondexter to create the needed roster space to acquire two extra players in the trade.