Behind the Anthony Davis drama, the Pelicans are ready to start taking their current roster apart in exchange for future assets, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News. He adds that their most enticing trade piece is stretch forward Nikola Mirotic, who is drawing interest from both the Sixers and Jazz.
New Orleans is seeking a first-round pick in exchange for Mirotic, who has been sidelined for the past week with what Deveney calls “a so-called calf strain.” A league source tells him that the Sixers, who have needed forward help since sending Dario Saric and Robert Covington to Minnesota in the Jimmy Butler trade, have contacted the Pelicans about Mirotic. Philadelphia owns all of its future first-rounders, along with Miami’s in 2021, and a wealth of second-rounders, including the Bulls’ this year, the Knicks’ and Nets next season and four in 2021.
The Jazz, who were considered frontrunners to wind up with Mirotic when the Bulls were looking to move him last season, are also in the mix, Deveney adds. It’s uncertain whether Utah is willing to part with starting forward Derrick Favors or would offer young players such as Raul Neto and Tony Bradley in addition to a first-round pick.
Deveney notes that other teams could still enter the race for Mirotic, such as the Trail Blazers, who are seeking to add roster depth, and the Rockets, who have been eyeing him for a long time.
Mirotic, 27, is averaging 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds through 32 games and is shooting 36.8% from 3-point range. He is making $12.5MM on an expiring contract.