The Chicago Bulls have been in NBA trade rumors even before the 2017-18 season began. An altercation between big men Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis was the reason behind this. During one of their preseason practices, Portis punched Mirotic which led to the latter suffering injuries to the face and a concussion. These health problems sidelined Mirotic [VIDEO] for the first 23 games of the Bulls this season.

After the incident, there were reports that Mirotic wanted to leave the Bulls.

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However, ahead of his season debut back in December, it seemed like Mirotic already buried the hatchet.

The return of Mirotic gave the Bulls life this season. Chicago had a horrible start to its campaign and at one point was the worst team in the NBA.

But when he came back, winning games became easier. At the moment, the Bulls hold a 14-27 record for the 13th spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Despite this, it looks like they are still planning to part ways with the 26-year-old ahead of this year's trade deadline.

Mirotic heading West?

One of the NBA trade rumors centered on Nikola Mirotic suggested that he could be joining a Western Conference squad when he departs the Chicago Bulls. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Utah Jazz got Mirotic "intrigued."

It seems like Mirotic has the desire to play under Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, who according to Wojnarowski has a "reputation for maximizing offensive talent." Mirotic is proving this season that he is an elite scorer. The forward is putting up 17.4 points each night for the Bulls this season.

If the Jazz pursue Mirotic and successfully acquire him from the Bulls, a new star duo might be on the rise. Utah has an emerging talent in Donovan Mitchell who is among the top rookies in the NBA today. Mitchell, the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, is averaging 18.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per contest for Utah. Their pairing has the potential to make the Jazz playoff contenders once again. The franchise has struggled since losing forward Gordon Hayward. The All-Star left in free agency to sign with the Boston Celtics.

Trade talks to continue

Until the deadline arrives, it is likely for NBA trade rumors featuring Nikola Mirotic to flourish. In the days to come, expect more teams to get included in the conversation. There are several organizations in the league in need of a scorer or a reliable frontcourt player like him, and they may be the ones reaching out to the Chicago Bulls.