Nikola Mirotic helps trade value in loss to Warriors

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 01: Nikola Mirotic
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 01: Nikola Mirotic /

Golden State Warriors snapped the Chicago Bulls three game winning streak. Despite the loss, Nikola Mirotic had a really strong game.

In what was a tale of two halves, the Chicago Bulls lost to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night, 119-112.

It was also a tale of two units for the Bulls. Bulls starting unit got outscored by a whole lot of points, while the bench played extremely well and hung in to beat up on some depleted Warriors lineups.

As always, the bench was led by Nikola Mirotic. With January 15 in the rear view, Mirotic can now be freely traded bu the Bulls, and it’s pretty clear by his play that he really wants to get out of town.

Niko finished with 24 points on 9-13 from the floor and 4-7 from deep. He grabbed six rebounds and even dished out three assists. Bulls outscored the Warriors by a team-high 25 when he was on the floor.

The full offensive package was on display for Niko on Wednesday night. Per usual, he hit his jump-shots:

He even showed a nice little hook-shot inside to take advantage of Shaun Livingston switching onto him. This might be the first time we’ve ever seen a hook-shot from Niko Mirotic:

Niko Mirotic’s defense this year has been really good

What we saw from Niko on Wedesday night that we’re not used to seeing is defense. Granted, his defense has improved leaps and bounds this season, though plays like this from him have been few and far between:

Mirotic guarded Kevin Durant for almost the entirety of the time the two shared the floor. He finished with three steals and a block.

Unfortunately the rest of the Bulls played some pretty horrible defense. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were able to get loose and combine for 68 points.

As stated earlier, now that we’ve hit the January 15 date, Mirotic can be traded anywhere. That also means we as fans are free to plug his name into the trade machine and put together some dream trades for Niko.

My personal favorite? Mirotic to the Portland Trailblazers for Evan Turner, Zach Collins, and the Blazers 2018 first-round pick. Sure, taking on Evan Turner’s contract stinks, but getting two assets back in Collins and a first-round pick are huge.

Next: Gauging Nikola Mirotic’s value

Turner has only two years left on that deal after this season, and the Bulls have very little salary committed, and in my opinion, shouldn’t be handing out any deals too large over the next two offseasons.

As for Portland, they get Turner’s deal off their books, get under the luxury tax threshold, and get Mirotic to maybe help them in a potential first-round playoff series. I think it’s fair for both teams.

Regardless, if Nikola Mirotic keeps playing like he did on Wednesday night, a real trade will hopefully happen soon.