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Stein added that Chicago is “determined” to land a first-rounder in any Mirotic deal.
Those reports come a day after Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com wrote that the Bulls are “still planning to trade forward Nikola Mirotic, which can’t happen until Jan. 15 or without his permission, based on his contract.”
Wojnarowski added that Mirotic has been “intrigued” by the possibility of playing for the Jazz.
Mirotic has maintained a desire to be traded by the Bulls for much of the season, hardly a surprise after he was punched in the face by Bobby Portis during a practice in October. Portis was suspended for eight games after the incident, but Mirotic missed the first 23 games of the season after suffering two broken bones in his face.
Mirotic reportedly issued an ultimatum in November that he either or Portis had to go, per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, though the Bulls reportedly took Portis’ side behind closed doors after Mirotic drew that line in the sand.
Mirotic has aided his trade value with his play on the court, however, averaging 17.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while shooting 46.5 percent from beyond the arc. For prospective playoff teams looking for a stretch 4, Mirotic would be a logical fit.
Detroit, for instance, could use another shooter like Mirotic to stretch the floor, and he’d be an upgrade at the least on the team’s second unit. Ditto for Utah, where Mirotic would offer more production than Jonas Jerebko and probably coexist more naturally next to Rudy Gobert than Derrick Favors. And in Portland, he’d be more of a scoring threat than Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis at the 4.
Whether any of those teams would be willing to give up a first-rounder to land him, however, is another story. It’s a big asking price for a player who may come off the bench for all three teams.