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?

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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.

[ESPN]

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.

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Tags: Chicago Bulls NBA Free Agency Nikola Mirotic

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