Forward Nikola Mirotic has been quite the enigma for Chicago Bulls’ fans.
The 6’10, 220-pounder who currently plays for Real Madrid is a very talented prospect, but Bulls’ fans haven’t gotten a chance to see much of him and it seems like it will be at least one more season before they do.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Bulls, even if they use the amnesty clause on power forward Carlos Boozer as many expect them to do, can’t afford to sign a star (they will likely aim for New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony) and bring Mirotic to the NBA this season.
Given the sizable buyout required to free Mirotic from his Spanish obligations — and with Chicago able to kick in only $600,000 toward that buyout that wouldn’t count against the salary cap — it’s conceivable Chicago might even ask its talented frontcourt prospect to stay abroad for a fourth successive season since he was drafted.
It’s hard to see how the Bulls could manufacture the needed financial flexibility to add a high-dollar free agent and Mirotic. The good news is 2011’s No. 23 overall pick said earlier this month in an interview with Spain’s Canal Plus that he’s fine with playing one more season in Madrid, which he calls “home for me.”
Mirotic averaged 13.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game this season.