OTG's NBA Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 9.5
The Chicago Bulls have sacrificed this season as the start of a rebuild in the Windy City. During any rebuild, a team’s goals must be to acquire young pieces that they can structure a team around. These young players can either come through the draft or by way of trade. It’s still early in the process, but the Bulls have come out and said that they are willing to move multiple players, including Nikola Mirotic. It’s on management now to make a trade that aids Chicago in bolstering their roster – or clearing space – for the rebuild.
Mirotic had a rocky start to the season. Coming off a summer in which he got paid, Nikola broke his jaw in an altercation with teammate Bobby Portis, missing the first 23 games of the season. During his time on the sideline he expressed his desire to be trade, meaning he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for the right suitor. Despite being Chicago’s best player since his return, the Bulls are still looking to move him. His solid play has increased his trade value, and chemistry in the locker room can still be salvaged if he is shipped.
The Utah Jazz would finally get a stretch four to play alongside their defensive stud Rudy Gobert, who is just returning from injury. Mirotic will be able to play off the ball with rising star Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio, which will allow him to continue his efficient play around the perimeter and spread the floor for the Jazz. This would no doubt help Utah make a second half push towards securing a bottom seed in the Western Conference playoff picture.
The Chicago Bulls would remove any remaining awkward tension in the locker room if they were to trade Nikola, in return receiving another young power forward in Derrick Favors. Favors plays well in the post, which would be a nice pairing with rookie-sharpshooter Lauri Markkanen. Favors is also on the last year of his four-year contract, which is great for a team trying to clear cap space. If Derrick Favors plays well this season, the Bulls could consider bringing him back in free agency next summer. If he struggles then the team can let him walk.