With 19 days until the NBA trade deadline, rumors begin to fill you twitter feed more than ever before. I love this time of year, whether it’s the NBA or any professional sports trade deadline. There is always that big blockbuster deal that comes out of no where, sparking excitement for the entire league.
No, I’m not talking about Cameron Payne for Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott.
The Chicago Bulls are exceeding expectations this year in what many expected to be a long, dreadful losing affair at the United Center. Instead, they are only 5.5 games out of the last playoff spot in the East.
Who would have predicted this?
If the Bulls want to follow through on their rebuild and be in the mix for a top pick in the 2018 NBA draft, the front office is going to have to trade away some assets. The Bulls began shopping Nikola Mirotic and Robin Lopez in December and a move is imminent. After playing with the NBA trade machine, I have found the perfect trade for the Bulls.
Bulls receive: Rodney Hood, Joe Johnson, 1st round pick (2018)
Jazz receive: Nikola Mirotic
The Utah Jazz are reportedly interested in Nikola Mirotic as of a few weeks ago reported by ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
I think it has become inevitable at this point. After failing to reach an agreement this summer, the Bulls do not see Mirotic as a future piece of this team. You cannot let him walk this offseason knowing you could have gotten value in return at the deadline. He must be dealt and the Jazz have players to offer.
Rodney Hood, 25, is averaging 16.7 points per game on the year and shooting close to 39% from three. He would be an instant spark into the lineup and would look great next to Dunn and LaVine. Also, Hood is a restricted free agent so the Bulls would have the best shot of signing him to a long term deal.
The Jazz and Hood failed to reach a contract extension in October and now there is a “growing belief” that the Jazz could move the former Duke Blue Devil by the February 8th deadline according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.
Do not look too much into Joe Johnson coming to the Bulls. He will be a free agent at the end of the year and completely a salary dump. The Bulls have plenty of cap space to take on bad contracts and with that comes draft picks.
Overall, it’s a win-win for both sides. The Bulls could land their future small forward and the Jazz get a much improved Mirotic. And oh yeah, a first round pick coming to Chicago.