Feb 28, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the Chicago Bulls logo during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Bulls at the American Airlines Center. The Bulls defeated the Mavericks 100-91. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

How valuable is Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Mirotić?

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The Chicago Bulls are clearly going to do whatever they can to improve their roster this offseason, likely chasing Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin and New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony.

However, if the Bulls can’t land a player of that caliber, help could be on the way in Real Madrid power forward Nikola Mirotić, who the Bulls own the rights to.

Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders assesses Mirotić’s value.

Now, the questions of “where would Mirotic be selected if he were in this draft” and “how valuable is he as an asset compared to the picks in this draft is” are two different ones. I think Mirotic would easily be a top-10 pick in this draft if he were in it. When you consider he is 23 and could contribute immediately, and you’d get his prime years locked down for a rookie scale contract for 4 years, that would be fantastic.

However, that is not quite the case at the moment. Since it has been 3 years, he is now no longer subject to the rookie scale, and has a $3.4 million buyout. He could credibly demand a lot more than the rookie scale now, and probably will only want a 3 year deal rather than 4 so he can get to a second contract faster. He also might not be interested in playing for a bad team since he’s on a great team with Real Madrid in Europe, so that might also demand more of a contract premium than playing with the Bulls.

So, those factors lower his value relative to a pick in this draft.

Mirotić averaged 13.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game this season.

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Tags: Chicago Bulls NBA Rumors Nikola Mirotic

  • Kevin Woods

    Judging from the video I’ve seen, Mirotic will be a good offensive player, probably will average close to 20ppg.

    But…..he doesn’t rebound much, he’s slow footed and he’s physically weak. This makes him too slow to guard all but the slowest SF’s and the way he gets outmuscled by Euro PF’s leaves one to wonder how badly he’d be dominated by NBA PF’s….

    Jus’ sayin’.

    • tdh

      Noah was drafted in 2007 and his draft weight profile was 223 lbs back then at 22 years old, and he is now around 232 lbs (7 years later and 29 years old) and a top 5 center in the league. Noah is 7′ in shoes.

      Nik Mirotic was drafted in 2010 at only 19 years old, and was listed at 210 lbs. Now at 23 years old his listed weight is 236 lbs. He has already put on more mass since being drafted than Noah has. He is listed at 6′ 10″ range which is an inch or two shorter than Noah.

      Noah does struggle with big Centers to be noted in this comparison, but Nik is not a Center but listed as a Power Forward, so he is the right size (considering his age) to be on track . I think he will need time, but is on pace to be competitive at PF in the NBA. I do agree he will need lessons and mentoring in a more physical NBA league and will need to put on muscle mass to bump with the other PF players in the league. However, I would not say he will be out-muscled long-term. By the time he is 29 years old, I would expect he would be closer to 250 lbs or more but he has 6 years before that point. Nobody thought Noah was going to be as good as he is, and Mirotic with the Bulls could be mentored to be an all-star PF with some work. Nobody should be expecting Mirotic to jump to the NBA and suddenly be ready. CHI needs Taj Gibson or another NBA proven PF ahead of Mirotic in the depth chart for a year or two at least.

      • Kevin Woods

        So he weighs 236 LBs…..I wouldn’t care if he weighs 250LBs…..that’s NOT the issue.

        The issue is that the film I saw of him from this past winter showed that he was too weak to guard the PFs in Europe. I stated that he was too weak to guard a PF and too slow to guard a SF, and I stand by that. He was getting pushed under the basket at will and he was in no way inclined to ‘mix it up’ in the lane. He has skinny legs, skinny arms and weak shoulders. He’s 23 years old and has no where near an NBA-ready body and no where near the inclination to do work (defend or rebound) in the paint.

        And I don’t think we should have to wait 6 years before the ‘savior’ of the franchise is able to rise to the level where he can play Boozer-like defense.

        IMO….Mirotic will be a career niche/role player…..much like Toni Kukoc and Andrei Kirilenko….and about as effective, offensively.

        And BTW, Noah is in the 240-245 LB range (not 232 lbs…which he weighed in college)…..and he still gets pushed around in the post. You’d have noticed that if you’d watched the Washington series.

        • tdh

          I already acknowledged Noah is small. You don’t need to claim I did not watch the Washington series or I would have noticed. I already agreed with you on that.

          My point was not about his weight only. I was making comparision to Noah. Noah is all-NBA defensive, all-NBA first team, etc. That is NOW, but when he was 23 years old, he was not. You can’t expect Nik Mirotic at 23 years old to be NBA ready. Yes, he will get pushed around, but he has a high level of skill that can be developed into an all-NBA player like Noah. People should not expect him at that level for a couple years. That is why, he needs to start out as a backup. I also have seen his footage from EU getting pushed around in the post. He also is slow relative to wing players. He will need to play the PF spot for this speed reason, but he will be pushed around and need work at first. He will continue to put on weight and muscle and with Thibs he can be coached to learn how to use his size better. Expect 3 more years before he is at a high level. Noah took the same amount of time and had the same types of issues, which is why I compare them.

        • http://www.miltonbradleyisgreat.wordpress.com/ Butch Crassidy

          Which is it? You think he will be a “good offensive player” who drops 20 per, or merely a “career niche/role player” in the mold of Kukoc and Kirilenko? Role players generally aren’t greatly skilled in any one area, and they especially don’t average 20 per game.

          • Kevin Woods

            Butch,
            Seems my recollection of Tony K and Kirilenko offensive games were overestimated. Neither of them scored as well as I’d thought they had.
            In any case, Mirotic will….judging from what I saw in video….be a one dimensional player, no matter how you chalk it up..

          • http://www.miltonbradleyisgreat.wordpress.com/ Butch Crassidy

            Kukoc was actually a pretty solid scorer. His PPG would have been higher had it not been for the presence of MJ and Pip, as well as the fact that he was mostly a reserve during his prime. I feel Mirotic has a better perimeter game than Kukoc, but not by much. A better athlete, but again, not by that much. However, when you’re 6’10″, do you have to be a freakish athlete? Kukoc managed to average about 5, 6 REB per 36 min in a much more physical NBA, and I’m sure Mirotic could match that. Kirilenko is a defense-first guy, and Mirotic won’t ever be that, but I don’t see one-dimensional in Mirotic’s future. I haven’t just seen video, but games in their entirety, including a “friendly” against the Grizzlies, after which Z-Bo heaped a ton of praise upon him. He won’t be the Bulls’ savior, but I can see him being a good player, at the least.