Report: Bulls gauging Mirotic’s, Lopez’s trade value

Nikola Mirotic has been traded by the Chicago Bulls to the New Orleans Pelicans, according to a report.

CHICAGO — Since returning from facial fractures suffered after teammate Bobby Portis punched him in training camp, Nikola Mirotic is averaging 16.3 points for the Chicago Bulls while shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from three.

Both Mirotic’s camp and the Bulls have to be happy with how good Mirotic has looked and can only hope the Spaniard keeps it up so his trade value increases.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls are gauging the trade block value of Mirotic and center Robin Lopez in the hopes of acquiring more draft picks and getting rid of long-term contracts.

Per K.C. Johnson:

“And the Bulls’ third straight victory — and Mirotic’s third straight positive contribution — will only intensify efforts to trade the sharpshooting forward once he’s eligible to be dealt Jan. 15. After all, part of the Bulls’ rebuilding strategy is to get as high a pick as possible in a 2018 draft that is loaded at the top. According to one Eastern Conference executive and one Western Conference executive, the Bulls have made preliminary inquiries on Mirotic’s value, along with Robin Lopez’s. The Bulls, who are under the salary-cap floor, are seeking to add future assets in terms of draft picks without taking on long-term contracts.”

Lopez, who is averaging 13.2 points and 5.5 rebounds, is making $13.8 million this season and will become a free agent in 2019.

Mirotic signed a two-year, $27 million deal in the offseason to remain with the Bulls and his contract gives him the power to veto any trade.