Chicago Bulls

Gar Forman optimistic that Nikola Mirotic will return

Gar Forman optimistic that Nikola Mirotic will return

The Bulls have been relatively quiet since dropping their Draft Day bomb. 

The front office hasn't spent big in free agency or indicated a Dwyane Wade buyout was imminent, instead opting for low-cost moves and commitment to the future. 

Whether Nikola Mirotic is in those future plans remains to be seen, but general manager Gar Forman projected optimism when asked on Monday if he sees the Bulls agreeing to terms with the 26-year-old forward. 

"We want Niko back, and we think Niko wants to be in Chicago," Forman said. "When you have those two things at the end of the day, there's usually a way to get something done." 

The market on the three-year vet remains a mystery, with no NBA teams stepping up to make a serious run. Whether that ultimately helps Gar/Pax in negotiations is also a question mark, but it's certainly looking more and more likely that Mirotic will end up on Fred Hoiberg's roster. 

Last season, Mirotic shot 41 percent from the field and 34 percent from behind the 3-point line. He averaged 11 points and five rebounds over 24 minutes per game. 

While the Bulls expected - and frankly needed - more from their stretch-four, Mirotic did show flashes. In March, he shot over 40 percent from deep, scoring 15 points per contest. 

Mirotic-Markkanen frontcourt? 

How Bulls helped Thunder pull off blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade

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How Bulls helped Thunder pull off blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade

For all the Bulls fans who wanted to see the organization pull off a Carmelo Anthony trade over the years, they just got their wish.

Well, sort of.

According to The Vertical's Shams Charania, the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks have agreed to a blockbuster trade which will send Anthony to the Thunder for Doug McDermott, Enes Kanter and the Bulls' 2018 second-round pick.

Coincidentally, the Bulls traded a comparable package to what the Thunder just surrendered for the 10-time NBA All-Star.

Just before the NBA's trade deadline last February, the Bulls sent McDermott, Taj Gibson and a 2018 second-round draft choice to the Thunder for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow.

As the Thunder load up for a postseason run in the Western Conference, the Bulls are in the midst of rebuilding year after trading Jimmy Butler earlier this offseason and not having much to show from their previous trade with the Thunder.

The Bulls let Lauvergne and Morrow depart via free agency this offseason, while Payne will start the season on the shelf after undergoing foot surgery.

After the deal becomes official via a league call on Monday, Anthony will join reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and All-Star Paul George in Oklahoma City.

The 33-year-old Anthony averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Knicks last season.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls the worst team in NBA?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bulls the worst team in NBA?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Nick Shepkowski (670 The Score) and Dan Cahill (Chicago Sun-Times) join Kap on the panel. Jake Arrieta will return to the rotation to face the Brewers. Can he recapture his pre-injury form? Mike Glennon gets another start Sunday but should he get the hook if he struggles again?

Plus, the guys discuss the one metric that says the Bulls are the worst team in the NBA.