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Pelicans news: Nikola Mirotic to make debut Saturday vs. Timberwolves

Nikola Mirotic

For fans of the New Orleans Pelicans, they are going to have to wait one more day until newly-acquired power forward Nikola Mirotic makes his debut with his new team. According to a tweet on Friday from Pelicans reporter Scott Kushner of The Advocate, Mirotic will be inactive for tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder but will play on the second night of a back-to-back against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Mirotic was officially traded from the Chicago Bulls on Thursday in exchange for a package that included center Omer Asik, guards Tony Allen and Jameer Nelson, and a first-round pick.

Pelicans star power forward Anthony Davis, who was recently selected to his fifth straight NBA All-Star Game, spoke to Kushner yesterday about the acquisition of Mirotic and what he believes the former Bull brings to his new team.

“[Mirotic] is a scorer. He could go alongside with our team. That could be very helpful for us,” Davis said on Thursday.

With his great shooting ability, Mirotic is expected to play a major role in head coach Alvin Gentry’s up-tempo offense following the heartbreaking season-ending injury of star center DeMarcus Cousins to a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Although the Pelicans are expected to be a bit short-handed tonight, it may help that the Thunder are playing on the second night of their own back-to-back after flying home from Denver last night.

In the 2017-18 campaign, Mirotic is easily having the best season of his entire career. In 25 games this season with the Bulls, Mirotic is averaging 16.8 points (42.9 percent shooting from behind the arc), 6.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game in roughly 24.9 minutes of action per contest.