Although the Chicago Bulls targeted New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony at the start of free agency and although they missed out on Anthony after he decided to re-sign in New York, the Bulls still had a nice offseason. After using the amnesty clause to waive veteran big man Carlos Boozer, the Bulls turned their attention elsewhere. They signed former Los Angeles Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol to a three-year, $22 million deal, re-signed Kirk Hinrich and agreed to a deal with Denver Nuggets’ free agent point guard Aaron Brooks to replace D.J. Augustin, who signed with the Detroit Pistons. They also agreed to a three-year, $17 million deal with Nikola Mirotić, bringing the talented forward over from Spain.
Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders doesn’t believe Mirotić will start, at least at first, but thinks he will quickly find a role.
Mirotic will be an NBA rookie, so while I see him in the rotation, I don’t know that he’ll immediately find his way into the starting lineup. Would love to see him do a little at the three, though. That would give Chicago an ultra-big lineup with some interesting offensive weapons on the floor all at once. He’ll be fine, but Gibson is ready to start now. If the need arises, I think he’s the one who steps up.
The Bulls acquired Mirotić on draft night in 2011. He was originally drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 23rd-overall pick in the first round. Mirotić is a native of Podgorica, Montenegro. He has been touted as an excellent prospect. Mirotić averaged 13.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game for Real Madrid in the ACB League, where he played since 2008.