The Chicago Bulls have grand plans this offseason.
They would love to add a star player like New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony or Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love, but pulling off a deal (or possibly an outright signing in the case of Anthony) for either player is obviously going to be difficult. That’s why the Bulls likely have fallback options. They could make a run at a player like Los Angeles Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol, who would obviously present an offensive upgrade and they could spend the money to bring Real Madrid forward Nikola Mirotić to America to play next season (Of course, they could also eventually use him in a trade).
According to Tu Basket(via a Google translation), Mirotić is actually closer to playing for the Bulls than Real Madrid next season. César Nanclares, who wrote the story, believes that the Bulls are going to up their offer to Mirotić.
Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders recently assessed Mirotić’s value.
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.
One problem with Mirotić coming over this season instead of next season is that he would have to pay about 2.5 million Euros to get out of his Real Madrid contract whereas he would be free to leave in 2015.
Mirotić averaged 13.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game this season.