Nikola Mirotic was the Bulls draft and stash player from the 2011 NBA draft. At the time Mirotic was in the first year of a five-year contract with Real Madrid.
The Bulls can contribute up to $550,000 of his buyout without taking a cap hit. His buyout overall is $2.5 million, which means the Bulls either need to create cap space or Mirotic needs to pay for the other $2 million himself, which is unlikely because he wouldn't make much more than that in the NBA.
According to David Haugh, who interviewed Mirotic here,
The earliest Mirotic would leave Spain for the Bulls appears to be before the 2013-14 season, but many projections have 2014-15 circled on Bulls general manager Gar Forman's calendar.
So, the bottom line here is that the Bulls would need to create cap space, presumably by amnestying Carlos Boozer next summer, in order to buy out Mirotic's contract and bring him to the Windy City.
While that might generate some excitement, it might make more sense to wait another year.
Everything about this kid is exciting. Currently he's been leading Real Madrid in scoring this preseason with 20.2 points per game.
Here's where things get interesting. The speculation is that he's going to play power forward, but the Bulls are clearly intent on locking up Gibson for the future, and it doesn't make sense to intentionally backlog the position.
But, according to ESPN's 2011 scouting report of him he wouldn't have to be a power forward. Here are the positives they list for him.
- Crafty forward
- Great size, length for his position
- Can play both the 3 and the 4
- Very good shooter with range on his jump shot
- Can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket
- Quick first step
- Excellent passer
- High basketball IQ, fundamentally sound
- Is an aggressive player on both ends of the ball
- Can defend multiple positions
The boldface is mine. This is important because that would mean that Mirotic can play the 3 on both sides of the ball.
A player who can shoot from deep and drive to the rim? Say it ain't so!
Luol Deng's contract also dovetails nicely here. Hopefully the Bulls would be able to work out something with Deng, but hopefully for a little less money. Deng could help mentor Mirotic into the starting role and ultimately lead the second unit which he does remarkably well already.
Truth be told, Deng would be in contention for the Sixth Man of the Year if he weren't also a starter. That's intended as a joke—sort of. It's funny because it's true.