The Portland Trail Blazers have already been linked in NBA trade deadline rumors with New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic, and that chatter continues with the deadline less than 24 hours away. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported Wednesday that the Blazers have “expressed interest” in Mirotic — which was also said by Sean Deveney of Sporting News on Monday — but O’Connor also lists possible competition in the Utah Jazz, Brooklyn Nets and San Antonio Spurs:
The Jazz, Blazers, Nets, and Spurs are among the teams that have expressed interest in Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic, according to multiple league sources. New Orleans is seeking a first-round pick, league sources said. One source called the franchise’s demands “excessive,” considering Mirotic has been hampered this season by calf and ankle injuries and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Again, this isn’t new news, but it does provide insight into who, along with Portland, could be in pursuit of Mirotic (this doesn’t rule out other teams, either). It’s also not clear when the Blazers expressed this interest or how serious it is.
Dave Deckard here at Blazer’s Edge recently wrote about why a Mirotic trade would be a good thing for Portland to pursue.
Mirotic is also sitting out Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls:
No Nikola Mirotic tonight, according to Alvin Gentry.— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) February 6, 2019
And Mirotic tweeted out a puzzle-piece emoji earlier Wednesday, which sparked speculation:
— Nikola Mirotic (@threekola) February 6, 2019