It's well known that the Chicago Bulls are currently in rebuild mode, and it's also well known that Nikola Mirotic is unhappy with the team and wants to be traded away despite arguably playing the best basketball of his career right now.
Mirotic has wanted the Bulls to trade him ever since his incident earlier in the season with teammate Bobby Portis, which left him in the hospitalized with a concussion and facial fractures, causing him to miss the first 23 games of the season.
Since the power forward's return from injury, Chicago has achieved an 11-6 record, but this hasn't changed his mind. However, he can't be traded until January 15 due to a new contract he signed over the summer that took until close to training camp to be agreed upon.
Mirotic also has a no-trade clause for the first year of his contract, which is going to make the Bulls' attempts in trading him a little tough. While the sample size might be too small for teams to take a chance on him, the contract he signed last year was only for two years with a team option for the second year, meaning there is absolutely no risk in trading for him right now.
If he doesn't pan out, then this option can be declined and he'll become a free agent. The no-trade clause is the only thing that could possibly get in the way of a deal taking place. With all this in mind, here are four potential trade destinations for Mirotic if the Bulls decide to part ways with him.
The Toronto Raptors are playing brilliantly this season, so if they buy into the idea that this very well could be a championship season, they could be willing to move away one of their younger stars. A trade which they could look to execute could be Jonas Valanciunas for Mirotic and Robin Lopez.
This gives the Bulls a very talented offensive-minded big while giving the Raptors a reason to play Serge Ibaka back at center, as well as another 3-point shooter in Mirotic, and bench depth at center in Lopez.
Mirotic could help fill a need at the Minnesota Timberwolves as the team has been desperate for quality from the bench all season long. They could ask the Bulls for the power forward as well as a point guard like Cameron Payne or Jerian Grant and send either Shabazz Muhammad or Gorgui Dieng in the opposite direction.
Making a deal for Mirotic makes sense for the Timberwolves if they want to make moves in the summer's free agency too, as if he flops, they can just move him out with the team option and the cap space it gained from the trade to make some free agency moves. Reuniting with Tom Thibodeau won't be all bad for Mirotic either.
There are a lot of options for the Bulls to negotiate with the Brooklyn Nets over a possible trade with Mirotic, and the power forward is the kind of player the Nets would like in their team as well considering his ability to score 3-pointers.
Chicago could push for players in order to go for a playoff run, or if they're going full in on the rebuild, they could ask for more younger players and picks, which Brooklyn has plenty of. Out of the four teams, this might be the most likely destination for Mirotic if the Bulls want to offload him before the trade deadline.
The Charlotte Hornets could trade for Mirotic as well, but if it does happen, it will likely mean the team has given up on the season and is looking ahead towards the future. They could use the opportunity to offload some of their contracts, while also provide quality to Chicago if they are seriously going for a playoff run. Nicolas Batum could be the man.
Batum could go to the Bulls, while Robin Lopez and Mirotic are sent in the other direction, but once again, this trade only happens if the Bulls are desperate to offload the power forward and push for the playoffs. This deal gives Charlotte some much-need flexibility for the future too.News Now - Sport News