Upon conclusion of the Chicago Bulls’ 2013-2014 NBA season, the belief was that the Bulls would ask Nikola Mirotic to spend at least one more season overseas before being brought over to the NBA.
That no longer may be the case.
According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls will begin negotiations with Mirotic this off-season.
The Bulls will begin negotiations for the first time this offseason with Mirotic, who has a buyout this summer. Though Real Madrid made noise about possibly signing Mirotic to an extension beyond the one year remaining on his deal, that could contain an out clause should Mirotic opt for the NBA.
Mirotic was the 23rd overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft. Though, with that draft being re-graded, Mirotic likely would have been a top-5 selection had it not been for his obligations overseas.
Bulls’ general manager Gar Forman is confident that Mirotic will be wearing a Bulls’ uniform at some point.
“We have built a relationship with him,” general manager Gar Forman said at last week’s NBA draft combine. “We feel confident he will come over at some point. Whether that’s this summer or next, we don’t know.”-Gar Forman, Chicago Tribune
Forman offered little insight on when the Bulls’ expect to have Mirotic on their roster.
The Bulls’ roster expected to undergo drastic changes this off-season. In some capacity, Carlos Boozer will be removed from the Bulls’ roster. Boozer will either be traded or amnestied if the Bulls fail to find a trading partner.
Mirotic could easily slide into the Bulls’ rotation to replace Boozer. Though, a likely scenario would be Mirotic replacing Taj Gibson as the Bulls’ sixth man with Gibson replacing Boozer in the starting rotation. Mirotic has drawn comparisons to Dallas Mavericks’ forward Dirk Nowitzki.
The Bulls may not want to wait another season and Mirotic could be a valuable addition to the Bulls this summer.