Mirotic headed from Bulls to Pelicans

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Nikola Mirotic is headed from the Chicago Bulls to the New Orleans Pelicans after all, the teams announcing a trade on Thursday, two days after talks appeared stalled.

The Bulls will get Omer Asik, Jameer Nelson, Tony Allen and a protected first-round draft pick in exchange for Mirotic and second-round draft pick.

“We would like to thank Niko for all of his contributions during his time with the Chicago Bulls organization,” Bulls executive vice president John Paxson said.

“We wish him the best with this new opportunity in New Orleans. As I have previously stated, this move has our best interests at heart as we continue to remake our team and position the Bulls for a successful future.”

The Pelicans are apparently now ready to pick up Mirotic’s $12.5 million contract option for next season. Mirotic had blocked a similar version of the trade on Tuesday when they didn’t guarantee picking up the option.

The trade ends Mirotic’s three and a half season tenure in Chicago.

This season opened with Mirotic sidelined after suffering a concussion and two facial fractures when he was punched by teammate Bobby Portis on October 17.

Mirotic missed 23 games, and said he didn’t want to play alongside Portis.

In 25 games for Chicago this season Mirotic is averaging 16.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

The Montenegro-born Spaniard was originally drafted with the 23rd overall pick in 2011 by the Houston Rockets. – Agence France-Presse

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