May 1, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson (right) talks with general manager Gar Forman (left) before game two in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals between the Chicago Bulls and the Philadelphia 76ers of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency Rumors: Will Nikola Mirotic Finally Make His Bulls' Debut In 2014?

The Chicago Bulls certainly will have an interesting off-season. The Bulls are expected to part ways with power forward Carlos Boozer while also believed to be pursuing New York Knicks free agent Carmelo Anthony.

One move that has been on the back-burner for the Bulls is the bringing over of 2011 first round draft pick Nikola Mirotic from Spain. Mirotic is under contract with Real Madrid for two more seasons but the Bulls had several discussions this past season about the idea of buying out Mirotic’s contract with Real Madrid and bringing the power forward into their plans for the 2014-2015 season.

Mirotic, who has been compared to Dirk Nowitzki, certainly could provide an offensive boost for the Bulls. However, it appears that Mirotic may spend at least one more season overseas.

Marc Stein of ESPN reports that the Bulls may ask Mirotic to spend at least one more season with Real Madrid.


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.

If the Bulls do indeed sign Anthony, or Paul Gasol as Stein mentions in his piece, then Mirotic most certainly will not be with the Bulls in 2014.

Though with Anthony clearly being the Bulls’ top priority, Mirotic should be the Bulls fallback option as opposed to an aging Gasol.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Chicago Bulls NBA Free Agency Nikola Mirotic

  • Leroy Boyd

    Yes Melo is first choice but its all on Melo and less on the Bulls. Melo and the entire NBA world knows that his impact with the Bulls would be tremendous. Plus the returing of Rose gives the Bulls one of the elite teams. So does Melo want a ring or 129? He stays in NY no title and how long will it take the new coach and getting the right players to make NY title contenders. Probably the 5th year of his contract when he is 35 years old ok Melo which door will you open

    • Jordan Campbell

      Melo says winning will take precedent. If true, he is signing with the Bulls.

    • jtrain23

      I agree with you. He speaks of how important winning a championship is to him. His actions this off season will tell us how much that is the case. The Knicks can and will give him more money than any team, but no guarantee of ever being competitive.

      Even with Phil Jackson, they are still going to have to wait until huge salaries come off the books, talk free agents into coming here, and put the right coaching staff in line. If they are not competitive until Melo is 35, his window is pretty small. If he goes to the Bulls, he has a good chance at a title starting next year.

      • Leroy Boyd

        As I have said it’s all on Melo I dont see no matter what Phil does with possible trades of which has been stated Chandler and Iman to OKC for jackson and Perkins plus a trade with Houston for Asik and Lin yea Phil has some possibilities to improve the team but again I cant see anything he can do that will make the Knicks contenders with 3-4 years. Basically no matter what Phil pulls off the Bulls still remain the best option for Melo to win now.

        I continue to say its not Bulls management thats on the hot seat its Melo. He like the entire NBA world knows Melo to Chicago with Rose Butler Gibson and Noah is a greater contender than whatever the Knicks do this off season. I know the Bulls have a second plan to use and I dont think they will prolong any issue with Melo the decision with Melo is like the NFL way of doing business once he gets into the Bulls complex he cant leave without signing an extension or assure the Bulls that he in fact is on board.
        We all know the Bulls are as secretive as the CIA and what other plans they have wont be shown unless Melo decides not to sign with the Bulls.