It looked like the 26-year-old was on the move to New Orleans on Tuesday before Wojnarowski reported a the trade fell through when the Pelicans declined to guarantee Mirotic's option for next year.
The Pelicans had to attach a first-round pick to unload the salary of Asik, who is owed $10.5 million this season, $11.2 million in 2018-19 and $3 million in guaranteed money in 2019-20.
In 25 games for Chicago this season Mirotic is averaging 16.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists. "I know that because I won my spot and was named the starter, so it means I did something really right this summer".
Even with the off-court drama hanging around him for most of the season, Mirotic is having the best year of his National Basketball Association career. Not only are they giving up a valuable player in Mirotic, they're also taking back a bad contract with Asik. Johnson also said Allen and Nelson will be waived by the Bulls.
Coming in on the list of "not shocking news", the Bulls are continuing the direction of "the tank" as Mirotic will likely be the first casualty of trade.
Of the three players the Bulls received for Mirotic, Asik has the best chance of staying with the team. The Bulls also are sending a second-round pick to the Pelicans and will have the right to swap second-round choices in the 2021 draft with New Orleans.
A win-win for both teams, as it was never "if" for Mirotic to be traded, only when. Although the Pelicans are parting with a first-round pick (which probably would have been the price to dump Asik anyway), at least they will do so with a tangible on-court return, particularly if Monroe comes in for the playoff push. As such, a first-round pick would be an acceptable payout for Mirotic. I'm not regretting any decisions I made this summer.
While this isn't a total surprise due to how the last few days have gone, it's nice to finally get some clarity and closure on what to expect moving forward. According to sources, he didn't love the Bulls publicly acknowledging his role as aggressor in the Portis altercation, or the fact Portis was allowed to practice during his eight-game suspension.