Mirotic will decide on future soon, may be costly for Chicago

Mirotic will decide on future soon, may be costly for Chicago

According to a Spanish newspaper report covering Real Madrid, Nikola Mirotic will decide on his future soon. Real Madrid doesn't expect to keep him, but the price tag mentioned in his leaving is significant.

The original article, if you read Spanish, is here.

However, a Spanish reader did some work to translate here.

- The president of Real Madrid is personally conducting Mirotic extension in Europe. Note: The president rarely does that.

- Everybody is expecting Niko to leave as he wants to play in the NBA.

- He has nothing left to prove in Europe and he feels he is ready to take the next step.

- The article says Niko will have a decision soon as the pressure from both sides (Real/Bulls) is bothering him.

- Article says the Bulls could go as high as 10mm to sign Niko and Real cant compete with that.

Now the most important note about the article is the Bulls potentially going as high as 10 million to sign him in the off-season. My speculative guess is this is Real Madrid covering it's bases when preparing fans for the idea that he might leave.

10 million is pretty close to the most cap room the Bulls can realistically have right now, so when they say the Bulls could go as high as 10 million, that's probably as high as they could go.

It's possible the Bulls have pre-negotiated with Nikola but unlikely they'd commit to any such plan or get to the phase they are making promises. Especially given they don't know what other opportunities may come to them in free agency.

What has become clear watching the Bulls play without Boozer is that Nikola Mirotic likely upgrades the roster immediately next year if he comes over. There's always some risk with a European transfer, but his defense can't be any worse than Boozer's and even if his offense lacks the potency Chicago hopes for, the extra floor spacing will help the team tremendously.

As I've noted in the past, if the Bulls were to give Nikola Mirotic five million per season for three years, it would become the richest first contract an international player has ever signed (in terms of money per year) in his first deal in the US.

Maybe that Nikola wants more, but I'm not sure the Bulls have a lot of incentive to offer more. Much will depend on whether Boozer is amnestied or whether the Bulls work the trade lines and attempt to stay above the cap line so that they have more exceptions to use.

Of course whether or not they can sign Nikola with just the five million dollars may trigger which option they choose as well. If the Bulls amnesty Boozer, sign Nikola, and sign Augustin it won't likely be viewed as a big win for the franchise. However, a team of:

PG: Rose, Augustin
SG: Butler
SF: Dunleavy
PF: Gibson, Mirotic
C: Noah

Has seven of the nine pieces you'd want answered for a playoff roster. Tony Snell still has potential to fill in as one of those pieces as well if he can improve his game.

The Bulls will likely have two first rounders to add to the equation to fill in the depth. I'd suggest their odds of getting one additional piece with those two picks are very high.

Say they use six million on Mirotic and three million on Augustin, they'd then likely have a couple million left in cap room plus the room exception to bring in two more guys at above the veteran minimum to help fill out the roster as well.

Given the Bulls basically need a reserve wing and a reserve center, and have one guy on the roster (Snell) who looks like he can compete for a rotation player slot in one of those positions already, that doesn't seem like a big ask to fill out the depth of the team.

Of course, this off-season will look disappointing on the surface, the Bulls will again have "failed to make the big move", but their big move options really don't exist as much as some fans/writers would like to imply.

Assuming LeBron, Wade, and Bosh stick in Miami, Chicago's only true FA target is Melo whom they don't really like all that much anyway and aren't likely to blow up the roster to get with cap room. I believe Chicago would try and work a S&T for Melo, but the odds of NY cooperating aren't so high.

In the end, Carmelo dreams are a much, much bigger long shot than the 2010 plan to sign LeBron. It could happen, but there are many barriers since the Bulls don't have enough salary space to offer Melo a max deal. Even clearing Gibson off the roster has Melo taking a pay cut.

The depth plan isn't so bad as you think

Imagine if in 2010 the Bulls has signed more guys to smaller shorter contracts rather than reaching for Boozer because he was all that was left. Do you think the team would be better or worse than it is right now?

In the end, there aren't guys worth gambling for with huge contracts in this free agency class. Not the way the Bulls would be forced to gamble anyway. Melo's worth a big deal, but he'll be looking for a 20+ million dollar deal, and I don't know that he's really a super max caliber guy given that teams haven't really had much success with him and his lack of team play.

He's also never been an elitely conditioned athlete by NBA standards and is crossing the 30 barrier. Don't be surprised if a four year deal with Melo starts to look pretty crappy in three years. I think if you could get him, even at that price, you'd have to do it, but it's not the no brainer fans think.

Lance Stephenson will likely get matched by Indiana, and I'm not sure he's so good that I leave Mirotic in Europe for another year given that it might coerce him into another long term non-buy-out friendly contract.

Luol Deng might be the next best guy, but I don't see him considering us, and I certainly would rather bring Mirotic over than bring Deng back. I'm very curious to see what he gets in free agency now. I think his stint in Cleveland will really hurt his value. A guy who's supposed to bring wins with his intangibles has seen his old team continue winning at a higher rate after his exit and his new team flailing more since he came.

I don't think either of those things are related to Deng directly, but clearly he's not providing the impact on winning he's credited for either. Signing him to a big money deal now would remind me of Richard Jefferson getting 40 million from the Spurs when it was clear he wasn't really worth it.

In short, if initial talks with NY on a Melo S&T don't go anywhere, I'd bank on the Bulls making Nikola Mirotic their primary off-season acquisition, and while that isn't as sexy as we'd hope, it's likely a better long term plan than the alternative gambles available.

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  • Doug,
    Do you think they can take a swing for Stephenson AND Mirotic? Assuming Boozer is amnestied, trading Dunleavy would create just under $15 million in cap space. This would be about the only scenario where it would make sense to ditch Dunleavy and his team friendly deal, IMO.

    Couldn't you get creative with escalating salaries so that they fit under the cap in 2014-15? Noah is coming off the books soon and he'll probably resign for less under the new CBA and given his age. Maybe this restricts the Bulls from locking up Butler long-term.

    Would Bulls go for it and pay the tax a few years given that they are out of the tax this year? In today's NBA, it seems like a must to really compete.

    Look at this lineup:

    Rose
    Stephenson, Snell
    Butler
    Gibson, Mirotic
    Noah

    Plus, possibly two rookies and round it out with vet min guys. Stephenson can play some point, but hell, bring back John Lucas III to play some back up PG on the cheap. Augustin is great, but look at every PG on the Bulls under Thibs that has thrived.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I wondered the same thing, Granby. However, if Mirotic wants $10 million per to come over, rather than settling for, say, $5 million per, then I don't think the Bulls can get both Nikola and Lance.

    They probably can't get Lance anyway. Suppose Indy wins the ECF? They probably go into the tax to resign Lance even for $10 or $12 million per. After all, would they want to look like OKC who let Harden go?

    Then there is the question of how well Lance would adjust to Chicago. I do not really know his situation in Indy, only that some claim that Bird saved the kid's career.

    The Bulls need two elite players, and I do not think they can count on Rose to return to that level. So, they need to hit on Mirotic and hit on a draftee. If that happens, they will certainly contend again. It's true that Lance has the potential to become elite, but can/should they get him?

  • In reply to rustyw:

    This really is the best case scenario for the Bulls this offseason. They have to get Stephenson, get Mirotic, and hit on at least 1 of their 2 mid-teen 1st rounders without having to give up Gibson, Noah, Butler and with Augustin included and with a healthy Rose.

    Phew... if all this happens, this would put the Bulls up there with Pacers/Heat/Thunder. I think I'd lean towards Stephenson/Mirotic than Carmelo too.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Stephenson looks like the ultimate buy high regret it later guy.

    I think that Indy matches anything up to $10 million. Since they are losing Grangers salary this offseason, maybe they match anything less than a max contract, and since he isn't a 7'2" stiff I doubt that anyone goes that crazy.

    Even dumping Dunleavy, the Mirotic/Stephenson daily double looks to be extremely unlikely. I would be perfectly happy with Mirotic and Augustin, then use our other assets(multiple first round picks) to find a better solution at 2 guard, while moving Butler to small forward.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    My sense is that if you give Mirotic what amounts to full MLE money(even if it is cap space money) plus a signing bonus equal to his full buyout(about an additional $1.2 million per over 3 years) he couldn't pass up that deal. So that amounts to about $6.25-6.5 million cap hit per year.

    Not sure about the details regarding giving him a 3 year deal vs a 4 year deal, how much it matters, or who it matter to most.

    So that leaves $6-9 million in cap space depending on Dunleavy, plus the room exception of just under $3 million for DJ. Clearly not enough cap space for Stephenson.

    I think that the risk of waiting another year on Mirotic is too great, in terms of him signing a new longer term contract in Spain. Plus then the Bulls won't have cap space in the summer of 2015 to sign him into, thus limiting their offer to no more than the MLE.

    Using our max cap space this summer on a FA shooting guard, and waiting a year to bring over Mirotic might indeed be the best basketball strategy(talent wise) but only if it works out perfectly, or we had some kind of ironclad assurances from Mirotic regarding the summer of 2015(just make sure that boozer isn't his attorney or agent).

    Super tough call is Stephenson worth gambling every penny of our cap space and waiting to see what happens with Mirotic, man that is a conundrum indeed.

    Then there is the question of would you rather have a guy like Stephenson or a guy like Aflalo.

  • In reply to Granby:

    There's no way we can get Stephenson and Mirotic. We likely can't even get Stephenson regardless as he's restricted and Indiana can match.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    My bad, Stephenson isn't restricted.

  • That roster with Dunleavy starting at the 3 next year ! Hahaha that's the #3 team in the East with no shot at a title. I sure hope the Bulls are smart enough to sign a SG like Stephenson if they're not going do be able to land Melo. Dump Dunleavy ASAP and the Bulls will have close to $15M in cap space assuming the cap jumps to $62M which is expected.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    The amount of cap room we'll most likely have (assuming Dunleavy is traded and we don't get the charlotte pick this year is probably closer to $12MM:

    Player 2014/2015
    Derrick Rose $18,862,876
    Joakim Noah $12,200,000
    Taj Gibson $8,000,000
    Jimmy Butler $2,008,748
    Erik Murphy $816,482
    Tony Snell $1,472,400
    Total for Players $43,360,506
    CHI #1 (#20 OVR) $1,215,300
    CHI #2 $507,336
    Cap Holds X 5 $4,576,215
    Richard Hamilton* $333,333
    Total Cap Holds and Misc $6,632,184
    Total Cap Figure $49,992,690
    Projected Cap $62,000,000
    Cap Room $12,007,310

  • In reply to nolebron:

    I'm basing my figures on HoopsHype.com, which does not include cap holds. Where are you getting "x5" with cap holds? I assume one for each pick (1st rd Chicago + 1st rd Charlotte +2nd rd Chicago) but what are the other two? Also, HoopsHype does not have any money going to Hamilton next year.

    Do not forget about cap exceptions also. The rookie scale exception makes the Bulls able to take on 1st rd rookie contracts and exceed the cap. I am not the biggest whiz with cap exceptions and the CBA but 1st rd picks can always go through that cap exception.

    Not including those cap holds, assuming Boozer is amnestied, that the 2nd rd pick won't be a factor (they can always just trade it), and the 1st rd pick cap exceptions, the Bulls should have about $15.4 mil ($63.4 -$16.8 mil = $46.6 mil) to play around with. If Dunleavy was also traded, then that raises the figure to $18.4 mil. That would be sufficient, if not very close, to sign BOTH Mirotic and Stephenson.

    But like I said, that is without cap holds. Perhaps you can educate me as to why the cap holds will be so high with the Bulls.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    Yea, Dunleavy is absolutely not a legitimate full time starter. and if I have to chose between Dunleavy and Augustin, it's a no brainer in DJs favor.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree, but I think you're not going to have to make that choice, and you're going to have a tough time replacing Dunleavy with three million dollars.

  • In reply to Dajody1:

    I also cringed at Dunleavy and Butler as the starting wings. That simply won't do!

  • Completely agree!! The lineup with Rose, Butler, Dunleavy, Gibson, and Noah is not going to contend with Miami or Indiana or OKC.

    We need Stars if not superstars. We have only 1 superstar and given his health, he's more a star. I put all my eggs in the Stephenson basket and pray to God he becomes a Harden-like acquisition. Stephenson has star potential and would really be an excellent #2.

    If only we were bad enough in this lost season to land a star in this star-filled draft..... DOH!!!

    As for Mirotic, I say let him rot in Europe if he wants to act like a diva. I understand he wants to his money and to come to the NBA but we have leverage too. We own his rights and whenever he decides to come over, let him come over at our price and terms. He's 23 already and if he wants to re-up with Real Madrid and not match his talents against the best in the world, thats on him. We need to move on and not wait hand and foot on him. Offer him the mid-level exception and see if he bites and tell him its a take it or leave it. If not, have fun in Real Madrid. It would be a disappointing situation for the Bulls and as a Bulls fan but it was a low risk, high reward move that didn't work out.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    Kind of talking out of both sides of your mouth. First you say that we need at least 2 stars, and may not even have one anymore, then you say let Mirotic rot in hell(O.K. Spain) if he doesn't take a take it or leave it offer from the Bulls. Mirotic is the closest thing to a shot at another star that the Bulls have right now. Not saying that he is going to be one, but he is our most realistically gettable talent that might become one.

    I am virtually certain that he is priority #1 for the Bulls this summer.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    My point on Mirotic is about leverage. Everyone seems to think we have no leverage and we have to submit to his demands to bring him over and I just dont think thats the case. Yes, he would be the guy we'd all be hoping would be that star but we just dont know.

    And even if he does come over, we're looking at a 2-3 year learning curve to the NBA schedule, NBA minutes and style of play. Mirotic doesn't make you a contender next year, he's at best a rotational piece. He might bloom into a star but its going to take some time. So when you're looking at the next championship window and if the Bulls are going for it in these next 2-3 seasons where Noah/Gibson/Rose are locked up and still young enough, I just dont think you can trust Mirotic to be much more than a rotation contributor.

    Thats why for me, I roll dice on Stephenson and hopes he grows into a #2 along with Rose. Stephenson is a more known commodity and the talent/skills are there to elevate his game. Mirotic is an unknown for next year and if he does become a "star" it probably wont happen for a few seasons.

  • Stephenson is unrestricted, so Indiana may not be able to match without putting themselves in a deal bind financially. However, I'm not sold that he can sustain this level of play on a different team. His skills as a defender/rebounder don't really improve the Bulls, and he hasn't shown to be a high usage scorer the Bulls would prefer as Butler's compliment on the wing.

    I like the idea of adding Mirotic and two mid-round draft picks to this team (not to mention Rose). To me that is a top-flight Eastern Conference team that can compete with a declining Miami team and a potentially Stephenson-less Pacers team. That's better than adding Melo and losing all future flexibility. He will be 30 next year and post-peak, making 20+ million.

  • In reply to mcbecker5:

    That "high usage" aspect is quite important. It is very difficult for a player to upgrade his usage rate. It seems somewhat built-in to a player's mentality/personality.

  • In reply to mcbecker5:

    Oooh, I didn't even check, I had assumed Stephenson was restricted, but you're right, he's not. That does make a difference, though Indiana is a good situation, so I don't know that he'll be likely to bolt without a better offer anyway.

  • The cap is expected to jump to somewhere between $60-$62M - if the Bulls trade Dunleavy and amnesty Boozer, their cap number will be $43.6M before you factor in the rookies & cap holds. Chicago should have anywhere between $12-$15M - not sure that's enough to land both Mirotic & Stephenson. I sure hope Taj Gibson becomes the superstar everyone sees him as, because his contract is really getting in the way of adding more impactful players.

  • i'd go for mirotic and dj, and any others players available on small contracts. no big deals. wouldn't sing melo to big contract that limits others additions.
    we've seen what thibs can do, lets give him more tools, he's earned it

  • Doug, The Bulls certainly have more leverage in signing Mirotic than Stevenson. Stevenson can have many,many teams he could choose from. Mirotic has 2, the Bulls or his current team. I think its safe to assume we can get him for between $5 million and $10 million. Now DJ, that's another story. Many are speculating if we double the minimum NBA salary, he would pick the Bulls. I think maybe that might be a little on the UNLIKELY SIDE. He's short, but the kid can shoot AND his stock goes up just because he played for Thibs for a year.(look at Bellinelli + Nate and what they got).

    I like your plan...,but I have some doubt about how much we can spend.

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    What did Belli and Nate get, $2 million for Nate, $2-3 for Belli. We can certainly offer Augustin that kind of money in several different ways. The bi-annual exception is $2 million per, the room exception is just under $3 million and we could just use any cap room left over after signing Mirotic.

    Assuming the the Hole is amnestitized, the Bulls should be in prime position to retain Augustin.

  • I don't assume Gar/Pax(being Gar/Pax) will be able to bring Mirotic over by next season, but I do think it's possible. Also it's possible that the Bulls, with only one year left to swallow, will finally amnesty Boozer particularly with his recent perceived anti-team comments/complaints.

    If these two things occur, I'd say that makes things interesting. Then maybe Rose even at min 17ppg 43%, Noah, Taj, Mirotic as a good offensive player 13ppg and up on quality 45% and up makes for one of the better teams in the league when plugged into Thibs defense.

    If by chance we do double our odds of hitting on offensive talent in the upcoming draft with the Charlotte pick, then that addition if successful would truly make this an offensively revamped team and perhaps we are getting somewhere in terms of contention. Regardless, if Rose at any passable level, Mirotic as a talent, and a drafted talent with Noah etc., that's a fun ball club to watch.

    Disregarding Gar/Pax in some minds as challenged in garnering a truly offensively talented team, it is possible that things could turn around rather quickly if the right moves are made. Keeping my fingers crossed. If Nikola, Derrick, Kyle(Anderson) for example are the kind of talents offensively we start to revere as in first name basis status, we will be in business. Myself more so to watch an exciting offensive team then assuming we can win a championship without proving it first by battling whoever tough in the ECF, eventually triumph and advancing to the Finals.

  • I know the Kevin Love possiblity has died down - let me resurrect it. If Love is not going to resign in Minnesota (and I think we all expect that is what will happen), then would the T-Wolves do better than a package of Mirotic rights and 1st round pick for Love, even if they had to swallow one year of Boozer? The Wolves would have the cap room to offer more to get Mirotic over this year, and they could pair him with Rubio and 2 first round ricks from a strong draft.

    Am I way off base?

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    You are sooo off base that you are beyond left field, up on the last row of the bleechers, about to tip over and [SPLAT!] on the sidewalk.

    I'm kidding. I think it would take more then that to get Love, but honestly I'm for bringing in offensive talent period so here's hoping Minnesota would do a deal though Flip Saunders appears to be kind of a prick aka jerk as our most G.M.'s/V.P.O.'s etc. to deal with so good luck.

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    I have to think it would be interesting for the T-Wolves to put Mirotic with Rubio, especially if they have doubts about retaining Love. I think it would be tough for them, or really any team, to get a young talent like Mirotic and I think they'd have to consider swallowing Boozer to do it, though the bulls probably have to throw in a 1st. Is Love really all that? For all his flaws, he's a fringe top-15 player for sure, fringe top-10, I would do it.

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    I think there's a possibility of this. I think if it's on the table the Bulls have to bite on it too.

  • Side Note: Pulling a Portland(in a good way), and successfully outbidding as in stealing a restricted F.A. from the Pacers seems extremely unlikely to me as in not going to happen. But if people want to dream then dream. Honestly, Lance's personality requires a "right fit" situation and if you believe in players as not just talent units and interchangeable parts but people then I think his proper home and destiny is with the well constructed Larry Bird Pacers. As the old commercial used to say, "Get your owwnn, Turkey!"(I don't know if anybody remembers that line, but I Youtubed and Googled it unsucessfully.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Lance is unrestricted.

  • At least, we can see potential for the future, and that is positive.

    Mirotic has to substantially upgrade the team, and he needs to get over here to make for his best financial future. The Bulls should not overpay for him, since they own his rights. His agent needs to sell him on the potential for endorsements if he plays well in the NBA, and HUGE endorsements if the Bulls win it all!

    So, get Mirotic, draft well, amnesty Boozer, and see what they can cherry pick from the FA crop! If necessary, they can always do an S & T with Dunleavy or Taj or someone. I see no need to rush to dump those guys.

  • getting lance, a badly needed combo guard would be ideal but I doubt the Bulls will over bid for him. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bulls settled for Danny Granger for a cap friendly deal.

    Regarding the draft, the Bulls usually make moves based on injury or expiring contract situations. Noah has 2 years left and the shooting guard position is weak, getting another powerfoward makes no sense right now, unless he's a scoring stud. I expect the Bulls to draft a tall (6'4/6'5") combo/pg guard and maybe draft a euro center they can stash for later.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    My thoughts are the same about the draft. Two guys that I've been most interested in are Zach Lavine and Jusuf Nurkic. Lavine is ranked #11 I believe on one draft board but #26 on another. The comparisons I keep seeing with him is Westbrook and Curry. I haven't seen him play so he is still a mystery to me. Nurkic just seems like a Center with a big upside. I'd like Clint Capela if he were able to play Center, but I really doubt it.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I don't love Granger but when healthy, Granger is a shooter who can space the floor. He would easily be the best scoring wing player we've had in some time and an upgrade to the team.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Agree on Granger, plus he is way more of a 3 than a 2 thus forcing Jimmy to remain at 2 also not his optimal position.

    But Granger can likely be had for MLE money maybe less, so you could get him Mirotic and retain DJ.

  • I would really like to know from someone who has actually seen both play, who is better Love or Mirotic? From what I've seen of Mirotic, Love is the closest comparison I've come up with. Love is a much better rebounder, but Mirotic seems to be just as good a shooter and post player.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    It's difficult to compare the two when they're playing in two very, very different leagues, but Love is a top 10-15 NBA type of player. It's probably safe to say that Mirotic will not be that his rookie season but he might get there over time.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Yea, it is kind of a bird in the hand vs an unkown in the bush. Plus, Love will cost 3-4 times what Mirotic will over the next few seasons, and he is a few years older. Straight up you basically have to do it.

    On the other hand Love puts you permanently back over the cap and you still have to find another quality wing scorer which with Butler's extension puts you back into the tax.

  • The history of 210 lbs pf that really just shoot 3's, but don't have a great post up game/play great defense hasn't been too impressive. I'm putting my ceiling on Mirotic as Ryan Anderson. Ryan Anderson gets paid 8 million. 10 million looks a bit absurd.

    Also, Spain seems to be in a giant crisis right now. That coupled with the fact that Spannish basketball isn't really a big draw, anywhere, limits the owner's ability to spend on Nicola.

    I would wager the president probably went over to Nikola to hammer home the point that even thought they would be paying him around 5 million, his taxes are being paid by the team, so the salary he's making is closer to ten million. Whereas in the states, he may be making $5 million, but he's paying 2.3 something to taxes.

    In short, if he really wants the glory, or at least the extra cash when he returns back home, expect nicola to be a bull next year. However, if i were him, i'd stay in Europe. He's making ryan anderson money RIGHT NOW. Plus, have I mentioned how much prettier spain is than Chicago? (hopefully the civil unrest doesn't muck that up too much).

  • I really can't believe that there are Bulls fans who still believe Wade, LBJ or Carmelo want to come here..........do these Bulls fans still believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny!

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Someone who associates himself with the Cubs, the ultimate glass house, is throwing stones? Are you trying to make yourself look dumb?

    I can't believe there are Cubs fans out there who believed the Cubs would get Girardi or Tanaka. Do Cubs fans still believe in the Tooth Fairy?

    That's just scratching the surface. Change your name to "roadwarrior" or something if you want to "laugh" at others.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    If you read my Cubs blogs on Cubs Den blog last year, you would have seen that I was on of the very few who knew Tanaka & Girardi was not coming here.........

    I agree, Cubs fans today are really stupid.....they believe all these major stars will sign here...they believe we will be a playoff team in 2015...etc, etc, etc.............just read the comments on the Cubs Den report....even their writers. John A, Feleez, Moody, B Crayven, and others are really uneducated Cubs candy ass writers who nothing about the Cubs as they do about fornication.......copying and pasting stories from other national baseball writers...........

    As a Chicago Sports fan, I have the right to critique any Chicago Sports team......Cubs, Sox, Bears, Blackhawks and the Bulls.......if you really think that Wade or LBJ will play in Chicago, you can dream about......but that what it is.....a dream.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I appreciate your point of view and agree that is your right to critique the team. However, your comment was directed at the fans, I don't know who you're talking to or why you have to be condescending about it. There isn't a single comment here about Lebron or Wade. Once in a while it gets brought up, so Doug addressed it, but it's hardly what most Bulls fans think. I'm sure SOME Bulls fans think it but you can say that about fans of any team and almost any player.

    There are many more Bulls fans who think Melo is a possibility and he is, though a very remote one.

  • Can we get a final determination on whether Lance Stephenson is a restricted or unrestricted free agent? I've seen both mentioned in this current blog.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I was always under the understanding that Lance will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He could very well choose to sign with the Pacers again though even with other teams possibly offering him more money.

    Having lived right outside Indy my entire life and reading countless newspaper and online articles on their team, I am in the minority that do NOT want the Bulls to chase Lance in free agency. While Stephenson would instantly become the Bulls second best shot creator if signed, he has always striked me as someone who will implode once he gets away from Larry Bird's watchful eye. The man has had many troubling issues with maturity in the past and, up until this season, no stats to overshadow his reckless nature (both on and off the court). For every 'star' play he makes, he has just as many boneheaded plays. Looks good when all you see are his highlights, not so much when he is making $10million per year playing for your team.

  • $3 mil for Augustin? No chance...he's already priced them out. Then you state the Bulls don't like Melo and later in your article talk about a sign and trade. Confusing article with little substance.

  • Personally, I don't think Bulls should (or will) pay Mirotic much different than what a top draft pick would earn - about $5-$6 mil per. He's never played in the NBA, has a large buyout, and cannot sign with any other NBA team, ever. Mirotic would be foolish to renew or extend his contract with Real Madrid rather than play out his last contract season (next year) if it should come to that. I doubt he throws away any possibility of playing in the NBA by extending with Real Madrid. Even if it unfolds that Mirotic will have to wait 1 more year.

    In other words, I think this talk of $10 million per is fiction. Who knows who got that into print? Did Mirotic's agent have something to do with it?

  • In reply to Edward:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bulls/post/_/id/17679/mirotic-remains-on-bulls-minds

    Paxson: "Still too early to discuss Mirotic"

  • In reply to Edward:

    Totally agree, that $10 million number is all smoke and mirrors, either his agent his current team or both. $5-6 sounds about right, the only question is years, 3 vs 4.

    If your right about him not extending if we don't bring him over, then do we have enough patience to wait another year while using our full cap space this offseason on a scoring wing.

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