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Nikola Mirotic will not play vs. Blazers, for immediate future

Nikola MIrotic

The Chicago Bulls won’t play forward Nikola Mirotic tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers or in the immediate future until the front office can find a trade that makes sense for both sides, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.

“The notion that it’s a matter of when, not if, Mirotic is dealt picked up steam Tuesday.”

Mirotic had every intention to suit up for the team as of minutes ago — though it now seems like the team is determined to find the right trade and move on without him for the rest of the season.

This potential trade comes at the best possible time for the rebuilding Bulls, as Mirotic is posting career-highs across the board, and shooting a career-best 42.9 percent from three.

His sharpshooting skills at the forward position and uncanny ability to put points on the board should fare well as an asset to any team looking to acquire him, but the Bulls will seek a first-round pick along with compensating salary to make the trade work.

The Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans recently hit a snag in negotiations after the trade was reported close to done, potentially sending Omer Asik and a first-rounder for the 6-foot-10 marksman.

Mirotic’s 16.8 points per game would be a welcome addition to teams looking to stretch the floor or boost their bench with a hot-handed perimeter specialist at the four-spot.

As the Feb. 8 deadline, more suitors should step up their offers, with the Bulls expected to remain patient and wait for the best deal on the table before letting go of their fourth-year forward.