Nikola Mirotic, Robin Lopez Reportedly Subject of Bulls' Trade Talks

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2017

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 09:  Nikola Mirotic #44 of the Chicago Bulls stands on the court in the first quarter against the New York Knicks at the United Center on December 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls are reportedly gauging the markets for forward Nikola Mirotic and center Robin Lopez with less than two months remaining until the NBA trade deadline.

According to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson, executives from both the Eastern and Western Conferences disclosed "the Bulls have made preliminary inquiries on Mirotic's value, along with Robin Lopez's."

Johnson added the Bulls' goal is "to add future assets in terms of draft picks without taking on long-term contracts."

At this juncture, it may be easier for the Bulls to find a taker for Mirotic than for Lopez. 

Following a practice dust-up with forward Bobby Portis that left him with facial fractures and a concussion, Mirotic reportedly told the front office he wanted out of the Windy City, according to NBC Sports Chicago's Vincent Goodwill

That said, Mirotic—who re-signed with the Bulls on a one-year, $12.5 million deal that includes a $12.5 million team option for next season—can't be traded until Jan. 15 since he was a free agent over the summer. 

Plus, Mirotic would have to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal. 

But if he's amenable to doing so, the 26-year-old could be a quality addition to a contender in need of floor-stretching reinforcements. 

Since making his debut Dec. 8, Mirotic has poured in 16.3 points per game on 17-of-31 shooting from the field, including 9-of-18 from three

Lopez, meanwhile, is in the midst of earning $13.8 million this season and will be owed a shade under $14.4 million in the final year of his contract. 

Given those steep financial commitments, interested parties could be willing to wait until the big man is on an expiring deal to avoid bogging down their balance sheets. 

Contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com

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