CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls are 11-6 since forward Nikola Mirotic returned after suffering multiple facial fractures due to the punch he took from teammate Bobby Portis and have been playing steady basketball — something the front office likes but doesn’t want to see continue long term if it means the team will lose its draft position.
With shooting guard Zach LaVine expected to return from his ACL tear sooner rather than later, the Bulls’ rebuild could take a drastic turn if Mirotic keeps producing and general manager Gar Forman and vice president John Paxson are well aware of that.
Luckily for the Bulls and their rebuild, Mirotic is using this stretch to increase his trade value around the league in the hopes of joining a playoff contender.
Last week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Mirotic and his camp have told the Bulls that Mirotic would waive his no-trade clause if it meant being dealt to a contending team when he’s eligible to be moved Jan. 15.
A new report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski claims that the Bulls are indeed planning to trade Mirotic, who is intrigued with the Utah Jazz and their head coach, Quin Snyder.
On the season (17 games), Mirotic is averaging 17.4 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 46.5 percent from three. He signed a two-year, $27 million deal to remain with the Bulls this past summer.