After being pretty much the league's laughing stock, the Chicago Bulls made a recent push following Nikola Mirotic's return to the hardwood, and considering how great the forward has been off lately, that's their ideal chance to sell high on the European.
Ever since the start of the 2017-2018 season, it's felt like only a matter of time before the Bulls made a move. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Mirotic gave the team an ultimatum, asking that one of them be traded. However, Mirotic can't be traded until January 15, when restrictions are lifted as a result of him signing as a restricted free agent over the summer. Mirotic is intrigued by the Jazz and head coach Quin Snyder, according to Wojnarowski.
Utah (16-24) sits 10th in the Western Conference, but is only 4 1/2 games behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the eighth and final playoff spot.
The other aspect working in Utah's favor, as I mentioned this morning, is that Mirotic has a no-trade clause in his contract that allows him to turn down a trade destination that he doesn't want to go to.
That's exactly the type of production Minnesota could use to spark a bench that ranks 27th in the National Basketball Association in points per game. The Bulls got off to a awful start, and they remain near the bottom of the Eastern Conference Standings with a 14-27 record halfway through the year.
Mirotic can't technically be traded until Jan 15, but even that's an early than expected target date for Mirotic to be moved.
In 17 games, Mirotic has averaged 17.4 points and seven rebounds per game. The second year of the deal is a team option, making him an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. This would make the deal a lot easier to swallow on Utah's end, but also likely wouldn't be enough to "trick" Chicago into pulling the trigger on supposed first round picks.