Bulls plans rest heavily on newly crowned ACB MVP Nikola Mirotic

Nikola Mirotic was the best player on the best team in the Spanish ACB league and thus won the ACB MVP despite a rather pedestrian sounding set of stats (12/5.5?) becoming the youngest MVP in ACB league history (replacing Marc Gasol).

Chicago will likely need the full MLE to sign Mirotic in the summer of 2014 when the rules surrounding his contract change, and he is no longer tied to the rookie salary scale. Next year, expect the Bulls to amnesty Boozer in order to create minutes and money to sign Mirotic.

How good will Mirotic be? Well he won the rising star award in consecutive years (only player to do that) and became the youngest MVP in ACB history. The hardware shows an appreciation of his game beyond the statistics he's piling up. European basketball isn't nearly so star oriented as the NBA is, so the statistics need to be viewed differently.

It's hard to imagine a player of Mirotic's caliber playing just 20-24 minutes over the past two seasons in Euroleague and ACB league play. It's even harder to imagine a player playing that few minutes to win the MVP.

However, taking a peak at his per 40 stats over at draftexpress, then his numbers still aren't eyepopping, but show why he's such a deadly player. Over the past two seasons his Euroleague/ACB combined stats would come out to around 20pts, 50% shooting, 40% 3pt, 9 rbs, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks.

Not a bad haul. The passing/rebounding numbers aren't exactly star caliber, but the scoring numbers are impressive and averaging over 1 steal and 1 block per game shows nice coordination and hands and defensive effort.

We won't really know what Mirotic can bring to the table until he's here playing against NBA talent, but it seems pretty clear that the Bulls are counting on him to replace Boozer in another season and key a quick mini-rebuild.

Your 2014/15 Chicago Bulls?
Derrick Rose
??
Jimmy Butler
Nikola Mirotic
Joakim Noah

Bench:
Marquis Teague
Taj Gibson
2013 1st
2014 1st

The Bulls are set up for a fairly quick rebuild in talent, ready to get younger, but still experienced. Chicago will still be looking for a shooting guard (assuming Deng is let go and Butler moves to SF), but if Teague develops, and they don't strike out this year in the draft, then the Bulls will maintain a quality core of players around Rose with some flexibility to add more pieces.

Nikola Mirotic coming over and giving Chicago 15+ points a game is a big part of that puzzle. Is he up to the challenge of playing more minutes in more games in a more physical league? We'll find out.

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  • Doug Dallas is looking to trade #13 pick to chase Dwight Howard. What are the chances bulls interested and can aquire that pick? What would it take for them to get it? Do they have to buy the pick or take on contract or both? That would be great if they can get that pick. Also would be in good shape to package picks or set them up for further for present and future.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Can't imagine the Bulls are looking to acquire a draft pick this year, they don't really have great assets.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I don't know about that Doug, remember 2004 when the Suns were salary dumping, they gave us Deng (the #7 pick in a decent draft) for a 2nd rounder (#31 overall) and $3M cash. What if we could send the Mavs the #50 pick, $2M cash and RIP (who they can waive for $1M) for Vince Carter, Bernard James and the #13 pick. Saves the Mavs about ~2.5M in cap for just the difference in salary plus they don't have to pay the #13 pick (last year salary slot was $1.6M). so the Mavs can save $4.1M in cap, plus they get $2M in cash to move down 37 slots in a weak lottery draft (good depth overall tho). Win/Win because we get to acquire a backup center for 2 years on the cheap (James), we get an expiring (VC) and a lottery pick. They get cap savings for a big FA run.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    DAL wants to move Marion's $9.3mil with the 13th pick, not Carter's $3.2mil and James's $800k.

    Bulls only have Rip's $5mil and that doesn't match with Marion's salary. I guess if they took Hinrich's $4.1mil and we took Carter's deal too it would work.

    But ultimately the Bulls pass because...

    Marion+Carter+13th Pick ($14.2mil) > Rip+Hinrich ($5.1mil)

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I didn't think they could trade Marion because of his ETO.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    Oh I'm not sure. Maybe after he opts in.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    If Dallas dumps the pick, they would supposedly do so in order to clear cap space, so they would not want a current contract coming back, i.e they would be looking for future assets. So trading Deng to them is out. Would they take our #1 in the future, I doubt it given Rose's return and the likelihood of the pick being in the late 20's.

    The Mav's are rumored to be taking Morotic's former Yugoslav cousin Dario Saric as a one year Eurostash if they keep the pick, assuming he last to their pick.

    I would love to see the Bulls get that pick or any other lottery pick to get Saric to play small forward in Deng's place.

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    In reply to bullzfan:

    The Bulls have perfect trade bait Joke Noah. The most overrated center in Bulls History. Nikola is on the way so who needs a 7 footer who can't jump or defend anyone. You may get 2 draft picks for him. Best move the bulls can make. I would never trade Deng no way. Noah is the bait.

  • In reply to Michael Slowik:

    You can't be serious buddy. Noah was by far our best player this year and is signed to a very reasonable deal for his worth to the team. A tenacious rebounder, best C in the league at guarding the screen and roll, top 10 shot blocker, underrated passer, near 80% free throw shooter and all around hussle guy. Sure he's overrated.

    Lol, the fact that he didn't get DPOY is a joke to me (although he finished in the top 3). I say he should have also been 3rd team All-NBA ahead of Dwight Howard.

  • Do you expect Mirotic to play in Summer League next year? And can he play in our Summer League now? I dont know if we need to sign him for him to play. Just to see how he reacts to an NBA level type players.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    He could, but there's no way he's going to. Mirotic is much better than the vast, vast majority of summer league players.

    Summer league is really a crap game, because there is no team play whatsoever, everyone is trying to impress scouts to get european contracts.

  • If the Bulls amnesty Boozer who is going to take Noah's rebounds away from him? ;)

  • I think Bulls plans in the title should have quotation marks around it since we all know there is no real longterm plan. Only plan is to field a solid team as long as possible to maximize profits.

    Hopefully Mirotic is a good player for us. Very surprising to see 12 pts and 5.5 reb get you a MVP title! I get he is the best player on the best team but still those stats seem highly pedestrian...

    Word is some teams are interested in Loul Deng and his expiring contract. Be intriguing to see what the Bulls FO does or doesn't do this summer. I still doubt if they will amnesty Boozer even in the final year of his deal. Allegedly Reinsdorf is still upset they had to pay Skiles to go away when they fired him on Christmas and that was peanuts compared to Boozer's 16 million in the last year of his deal.

  • In reply to Chad:

    I've been saying this since the new CBA, the Bulls will NEVER Amnesty Boozer.

    If they can't trade Boozer on his final year, they will consider packaging a 1st to move him. And if not, they will put out some kind of PR campaign about how Boozer is actually good and we need him.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    The Bulls will absolutely amnesty the BozoHole in the summer of 2014 if they are unable to trade him before then.

    At that point Reiny can convert a one year $16.8 million dollar deal into essentially a 3 year @ $5.6 million per MLE size deal.

    Additionally, the Bulls will need the cap space just to bring Mirotic over never mind go after a major free agent to be our legitimate second star to pair with Rose.
    i.e sign maxtype free agent, then sign Mirotic to a full MLE, 4 years $22 million.
    That in a nutshell is the 2014 plan, no bozo amnesty no 2014 plan.

  • In reply to Chad:

    That Skiles deal was flaky. Shortly after he got his big raise, he beat on the players, then told the FO that he had lost the team and the team should fire him! They should have told him to take a long walk on a short pier. Make him work it out or take a big cut to walk away! The FO messed that one up.

    However, if Deng walks in May of 2014, and Hinrich's contract is up, what are the remaining salaries that would prevent the Bulls even from bringing over Mirotic for $5 million? I just do not know.

    I know that Butler and Teague will be cheap, as will the new draft picks. We are told that Noah has a reasonable contract, Gibson is a bit overpaid. Are the contracts for Rose and Boozer so hugely out of line that it will be impossible to sign Mirotic even for cheap? Gibson gets $8 million per year and the Bulls can't afford to sign the MVP of Europe's best league for about half of that? Who is responsible for this insane situation for the Bulls? Has the FO ever heard of financial planning?

  • I'm hoping the Bulls FO is hyping this kids game and potential to trade his ads. I just don't see him being the answer to the Bulls problems. I'm sure he will be a role player at best. Bulls FO still not imo giving their full attention to the problem that exsist on this Bulls roster, they need a shooting guard if Butler isn't the answer atthe 2 spot. They still need to get more athletic, they still need players that can create their own shot and get to the basket. Its a long off season and hopefully the Bulls will address their needs.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Nate Rob needs to be back with the Bulls next year and Deng needs to be trade bait this year since the FO didn't have the stones to trade him last year. They say their focus and plan this summer is to build towards beating Miami, well they need to stay committed to that and makesome bold moves this summer and Rose sshould be part of that process since I'm sure one of his reasons for not playing this year was cause he wasn't happy with the Bulls roster.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    There's really no way to find a viable long term answer to that problem with the resources Chicago has at the immediate moment.

  • They should trade Rose to Cleveland for the 1st overall pick. He may never be the same player.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    Why wouldn't DRose be the same player? People need to get off this kids back. He tore his acl, he didnt sprain an ankle. Blake griffin took a year off after his knee injury his rookie year why didnt anyone say anything then.

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    In a strong draft you could make that argument, not in this one.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Really Doug? You actually dignified that comment with a response? AND you were being serious?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Couldn't agree more...if it was a strong draft. People don't want to talk about trading Rose, but if you could get a "star" draft pick, AND some money, you've improved the Bulls.

  • In reply to dalugan:

    You mean like that Mitchell Wiggins dude from Canada, who GM's are comparing to Lebron talent wise coming out of Highschool, and would be the guaranteed #1 pick this year if eligible. Of course if he were available this year or next year when he is the guaranteed #1 pick, that team probably wouldn't trade us the pick even for Rose.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The Cavs wouldn't trade the #1 pick straight up for Rose, no matter who is available. They don't want to tie up 20 million in salary, especially for another guard. They have Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters signed to cheap deals for another seven years between them. And they will keep cap space for the return of LeBron at all costs.

  • I think the 2014/15 lineup will have Gibson starting and Mirotic will come off the bench until Mirotic picks up the muscles like Noah did. Looking at Noah and Taj now compared when they came into the league, the Bulls may have the best strengh conditioning guys in the business. If you look at Boozer best numbers, they happened during blowout by us or us getting blown out, he is always blowing defensive rotations. Review the tapes Reggie Evans scored on him, the same Reggie Evans when he loses one on one against himself. Trade Boozer and pick for salary cap relieve and play Taj and get a veteran to come off the bench.

  • Of course, the solution to the Boozer / Gibson problem is in front of our noses: start Taj and bring Carlos off the bench. His poor defense won't matter as much and if he comes on as Rose leaves the game, he will be the primary focus of the offense when playing. I'm sure there are enough minutes to go around, but Taj needs to start to develop his potential further, and we now Derrick will need the ball lots when he comes back, that's less offense available for Boozer anyway. If he wasn't the "star" with the Big Bucks it would seem obvious. Sigh...

  • There are always questions about a Euro talent transferring to the NBA, but it's good to see that Mirotic has steadily improved his play each year, suggesting that he will put in the work and continue to improve. At the same time, the chances of him being a significantly better player than Carlos Boozer is pretty low. What he will be is a better value, more bang for the buck, and that will free up bucks that the Bulls can use to improve other areas of the team.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    If he plays any D on even one possession per game that would make him a significantly better player than the BozoHole.

    I know that the Euro guys are not known for defense, but maybe he will respond to Thibs teachings as the BozoHole can't be bothered to.

    Offensively, I think that he will be somewhere between Toni Kukoc and Dirk, which wouldn't totally suck.

    Hell if he turns out to be as good a Jimmy Butler is looking, that wouldn't suck either.

  • Here is your '2014 Plan' everybody...

    1) Amnesty Boozer
    2) Re-Sign Luol to a 'discount' of $10mil per
    3) Sign Mirotic to the $5mil MLE

    4) Fill out the rest of the roster with cheap deals and vet-mins

    C. Joakim Noah $12.2 (2013 1st $1.2, Vet-Min $1)
    PF. Taj Gibson $8 (Nikola Mirotic $5)
    SF. Luol Deng $10 (2014 1st $1, Vet-Min $1)
    SG. Jimmy Butler $2 (2014 FA $2.6)
    PG. Derrick Rose $18.9 (Marquis Teague $1.1, Vet-Min $1)

    Payroll: $65mil

    I can't wait to continue losing in the ECF for the next 4 years.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Unfortunately, you may very well be right. I desperately hope that item #2 does not come to fruitition.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I think that is exactly the Bulls "2014 plan" if you can call doing nothing a plan...

    Hope they suddenly grow a pair and make a bold move or two, but likely with profits being the focal point, just being a good team as long as possible will likely win out over taking bold risks to potentially be a great team.

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