It’s been three years since the Chicago Bulls drafted Nikola Mirotic, who has been playing for Real Madrid since then. The Montenegrin-Spanish stretch forward might have had enough of European basketball, and is probably closer than ever before to begin his NBA career.
Mirotic averaged 12.4 points per game while shooting 46.1% from beyond the arc for Real Madrid in the Euroleague, reaching the final of the competition. They also reached the final of the Spanish league, losing to Barcelona in the series. At 6’10, many have compared the 23-year old to Dirk Nowitzki, but it seems any tall European player with the ability to connect at a high percentage from the outside is compared to Nowitzki.
So how close is Mirotic to Chicago really? One source suggests the Bulls aren’t thinking about that at the moment. Their main priority is signing Carmelo Anthony and only after then start thinking about adding other pieces. In Europe they’re talking about him as someone who has had enough of European basketball.
But aside from the contract he’ll be given, the Bulls will need to get him out of his deal with Real Madrid. Mirotic is signed through the 2014-2015 season in Spain, and has a release clause of $2.5 million. The Bulls aren’t crazy about spending money for nothing, and paying so much for a player they can get for free next season isn’t exactly in their best interest to spend more money on a player who isn’t going to contribute right away and will need some adjusting to do.
The Bulls want an NBA championship. They’re interested in adding Carmelo Anthony or even LeBron James before they start trying to fit other pieces together. Right now, a talented European stretch forward, even if he might help them more than they know, isn’t a top priority.