Jabari Parker's torn ACL opens up ROY for Nikola Mirotic

Jabari Parker's torn ACL opens up ROY for Nikola Mirotic

Does two people make it a curse for Chicago and ACLs? It's always tough to see a talented player go down so young, because when they come back you'll never know if you really saw everything they would have been.

I'm sure we'll hear all the usual jazz about full recovery, and Parker might be an all-star or even a superstar, but we'll never know if he would have been even better otherwise. If you can stand looking at another ACL tear, here's the video.

Tough loss for the Bucks, who will now likely end up trolling for draft picks rather than hoping to land a playoff spot. Maybe in the end this will work out okay for the if they get just one more good prospect to add to their core and strike gold in this draft, but that's more of an aluminum foil lining than a silver one.

Parker was also, incidentally, the #1 candidate to win the rookie of the year award. Now his PER has dropped quite a bit since my last article about him, but he was still basically leading in most of the obvious stat categories people look at [ie, per game stats and not advanced metrics].

With Parker and Gordon likely out of the running, Nikola Mirotic now looks like the favorite. He may have to fight off K.J. McDaniels, but McDaniels efficiency has plummeted with his TS% dropping from 57% to 50.8% and isn't really bringing much outside of scoring to the table.

The minutes issue which may have held Mirotic back at one point doesn't seem like such a barrier now. Only five players now project to have more minutes then him at the end of the season, and none of the others are playing better ball or contributing to wins on a good team.

For Nikola to win, he'll need to find a steady role when the Bulls have their full complement of big men available, continue his quality play, and overcome the "not a true rookie" stigma since he played high level euroleague ball for the past few seasons. That said, the award is probably his to lose at the moment.

Either way, that 2011 Bulls draft class consisting of Nikola Mirotic and Jimmy Butler that everyone bitched about missing out on MarShon Brooks? That turned out pretty well for Chicago.

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  • The only time holding Mirotic back will be minutes, lets hope he can steal some of Capt Kirk's minutes. The last two games Kirk Hinrich has played 52 minutes and has been held scoreless, as Charles Barkley would say "That's Turrible".

  • The ROY with lowest mpg was Mike Miller with 29, Mirotic could finish on half those minutes if everyone stays healthy. He doesn't have the hype of other rookies partly due to the lack of minutes.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    There are only 5 rookies who've played more minutes than him.

  • Condolences to Parker and the Bucks.

    And to McD of the Bulls.

    The ROY would be OK, but Bulls fans are hoping for a lot more. The team has a looooong way to go for that, and they are a SG shy of having a real chance at the title. The trade deadline should be very interesting.

  • Hope Mirotic gets enough minutes to contend for ROY. Thibs should consider him a 3/4 and play him against threes he can defend.

    I watch a lot of TWolves games and it looks like Wiggins and Lavine are the real deal. Both are only 19 and are improving game to game. In the absence of Rubio, Pekovic and KMart, they are really getting the opportunity to assert themselves. Wiggins will be an all-star in a few years-no doubt.

    The big surprise is Lavine. I saw a few Bruin games last year and was unimpressed. I didn't understand the hype. Now I do. He has amazing quickness and is very explosive. Great handles and one of the smoothest athletes you will ever see. Can't believe so many teams passed on him.

    By the way, although not a rookie, IMO the biggest under the radar guy in the league is Shabazz Muhammed. He is relentless around the basket. Flip loves him. Great attitude with terrific energy. A Jimmy Butler type of player.

    Still can't believe the Bulls passed on Dieng to draft Snell. Dieng will be a starting center in the league. Already an accomplished rebounder/defender and his offense is much improved. Tony has regressed from last year, if that's possible. There should be an award for "least improved player" in the NBA. I would vote for the human sleeping pill, Snell.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I think the ROY is now Wiggin's to lose.

    LaVines athleticism is off the charts, thats why he was one of the 3 guys(along with Saric and Payton) that I wanted the Bulls to trade up for and McPillsbury wasn't.

    Freakish athleticism alone isn't a guarantee for success in the NBA but it sure gives a guy a leg up. Now if he can combine his physical gifts with the right mental and emotional approach to the game, he can become a star. While LaVine would not have been much if any help for the Bulls this season, his upside was worth betting on, especially at such a position of need for the Bulls. I see him as a starting SG long term not a pg, as he sees himself.

    The 2 of those guys are never going to be Jordan and Pippen, but with their athleticism they can become a very good but lesser version of them as a pair, dominating athletic wings.

    My only concern about Dieng becoming a full time starter is his size, he looks a bit short. Last season in a game against the Bulls I saw him standing next to boozer several times and he didn't look much if any taller than boozer who is exactly the same height as Taj 6'7.75".

    It sucks that the Bulls could easily have had both of those guys instead we have McSleepy and McPillsbury. The 2011 draft goes down as one of the best in Bulls history, unfortunately even with the jury still out on McPillsbury, they look to have 3 straight strikeouts since.

  • Is that Zack Harper (@talkhoops) making the T-Wolves comments above?

  • "Either way, that 2011 Bulls draft class consisting of Nikola Mirotic and Jimmy Butler that everyone bitched about missing out on MarShon Brooks? That turned out pretty well for Chicago."

    Well I guess we dumbasses have been told. Kidding. These snarky kind of "see, you all thought you were so smart, and now look at ya" rebukes feel so good to let fly. Only those kind of sweeping admonishments as with any generalization are usually overblown and not entirely accurate.

    Not EVERYBODY was on board with Marshon Brooks. I sure as heck wasn't. And there were other voices of caution as well such as Shakes if I'm not mistaken. Not to mention what happened to him? Haven't seen him for a while. Back to Brooks though, any time you have a "one year wonder" as a senior in prolific scoring etc. then you take that with a huge grain of salt. Not to mention attitude and effort questions along with shooting consistency and limited handle. I definitely was not a fan and said so at the time. You also had Chandler Parsons who admittedly nobody saw as a first round talent likewise Isaiah Thomas. None the less they were there.

    As to ROY, when a guy is shooting .414 overall and .333 from three on seven ppg if that's ROY material then that award really doesn't mean much these days IMO. Last year's draft class was supposed to be deep, but looking at previous one and dones it's clear a lot of these guys take two or more years to develop. Enes Kanter, Terrence Ross, Nikola Vucevic, Brandon Knight, Derrick Favors, and proclaimed bust Ben McLemore all are solid or better players, but not for two or sometimes several years into their careers.

    Back to Gar/Pax, late first bargain dwellers do not a great G.M. make. You need star offensive talents who are well rounded players. Nikola looks like a good player, but with limitations. Jimmy Butler likewise. He's looking great no question and could be an all-star. But those are regular season feats. Yes he's shooting better from three then he was earlier, but still .317. He was largely a negative factor for Chicago in last year's playoffs at both ends of the floor. We'll see what those picks do in this year's playoffs before we "crown em" meaning Gar/Pax.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I'm still around, don't usually get around to reading the articles while the comments are still active so don't post much any more.

    As much as I'd like to say I was right, I was dead wrong on the 2011 draft.

    I was very against the Mirotic pick, I felt that Rose wouldn't have a long prime and wasting picks on draft and stash players was stupid when the team should try to win now. Sadly Rose's prime was even shorter than I expected, so it turned out to be a good move for the wrong reasons. :(

    I was wrong on Butler, I thought he measured out more like a bad kind of tweener forward than a wing, so wasn't that keen on him when we had a need at SG. I definitely wasn't high on Brooks though (sucked shooting college threes so was never a good fit for the Bulls). I think I kind of liked E'Twaun Moore? Funny he ended up as an end of bench scrub on the team anyway.

  • Ever since Rose, I have a soft spot for these ACL injuries, my stomach drops every time I hear of one (besides Rondo of course). It's just so sad to think he has to deal with that injury already, the same way it was terrible to see the Lakers rookie go down during their first game, just feel for these guys.

    I forgot to mention this yesterday, but that jump ball Atlanta won in the 4th really pissed me off, it's like Taj and Pau were both sleepwalking, just needed to mention it cause I didn't get too mad until that play, but oh well, really not a big deal after the game was done, cause I know this one didn't mean much.

  • Side note: I keep hearing about Zach LaVine, but his shooting percentages are awful. He is a talent, but I have serious doubts he will ever be a consistent/good shooter especially from long range.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    LaVine isn't really ready to play in the league right now other than in a situation like Minny, he's way too young, but in 2-3 years he should be. He shot 11-14 against Kobe, so the cupboard isn't totally bare.

    On the other hand, McPillsbury, who is supposedly and likely can be an elite shooter may never be able to put that skill to use in the NBA due to an absolute lack of athletic ability.

    As this overhyped draft proves once again, the draft is always a crapshoot and apparently "no one knows nothing" until after we see these guys play in the league.

  • http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&y1=2015&p1=mirotni01&y2=2015&p2=parkeja01&y3=2015&p3=wiggian01&p4=&p5=&p6=

    looking at the per game stats, it's probably wiggins. The advanced stats puts Nikola at an equal or higher footing than either wiggins or parker. With that said, wiggins has a better story, recognition, and per game stats.

  • Don't take this the wrong way, because my intent is not to criticize you personally, more of a general observation.

    Upon hearing of Parker's injury your headline was the second thing that crossed my mind. I immediately felt really guilty about thinking that way. It seems kind of cold hearted and self interested. I guess thats just human nature especially when dealing with an injury to someone you don't have any personal connection with making it more of an abstract proposition to deal with. I am a bit surprised that you went with that headline though.

    That now makes 7 of the top 11 picks missing time due to injuries and at least 3 already done for the season, maybe 4 depending on how Gordon recovers. Having been a fan for over 45 years, it seems to me that injuries happen far more often these days than they used to.

    In any event, I'm sorry to hear about Parker(likely in part because of all that we as Bulls fans have suffered through with Rose) and because Milwaukee was having a nice bounce back season and Parker is a Chicago kid, so you kind of root for him a bit even though he is "the enemy".

  • I don't know what it is about the Eastern conference but year after year it's been plagued with injuries. Not just rolling a ankle or pulling a hamstring from the daily grind of playing B-ball for a living, but I'm talking season ending/ career threatening injuries. People talk about how strong the west is and how pitiful the east is but it's all because of these darn injuries. I wish Parker all the best with his ACL and a speedy recovery. As for Niko, like everyone else has already stated, only minutes can hold him back. Fortunately for Niko ( and unfortunately depending on how you look at the situation ) McDermott will be out for at least 8 week so that opens up some minutes. As long as he keeps bringing that energy and hustle, I think he can win it.

  • Quick Thoughts: Sounds like Rose is going to be out tonight against the lowly Knicks. Possibly Anthony as well.

    Wonder if Rondo to Mavs will get done? I'd hate to mess with that chemistry right now as Mavs have been looking great. Jameer Nelson has been shooting a solid percentage on four threes attemtped per game which Rondo negates completely. It will be interesting if deal gets done how effective Rondo can be helping Dallas. How about Cuban's Chandler Parson's theft from Houston as parsons is lighting it up - karma perhaps(?) Rockets for the Omer snatch and grab. By the way James Harden you are for me to poop on with your phony, arm flailing foul calls. Dude shot 21 free throws last night vs Nuggets. One play he just barreled into a guy who ripped the ball away cleanly from him, and they gave Harden the foul call anyway. NBA refs you also are for me to poop on.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Well, Rondo to Mavs got done. We'll find out!

  • From David Thorpes rookie rankings

    3. Nikola Mirotic | PF | Chicago Bulls
    It's no surprise to see Mirotic look like a seasoned veteran, as he has been playing high-level basketball with professionals for years. He still is trying to find his offensive game, but his rebounding is a shining light of the class. Mirotic is simply one of the best defensive rebounders in the league.

    He makes it happen by clearly valuing the ball, almost always making an effort to get to rebounding spots no matter where he is standing when the shot goes up. Mirotic also applies some craft to these efforts when needed, like fighting back when he is pushed under the rim and then tapping the ball away from his opponent and toward a spot where he can get before his opponent does.

    10. Zach LaVine | PG | Minnesota Timberwolves
    LaVine making the top 10 of this class has a lot more to do with the injuries and overall failures of the class than it does anything about LaVine's play. He has been productive mostly because the ball is in his hands a lot, and he plays lots of minutes thanks to all of the injuries in Minnesota. He is simply not close to being ready to help a normal NBA team win. Still, he does show a high level of talent because of NBA-ready skills (ball handling) and athleticism, which is why he has been decent in isolations.

    Interesting that he calls Mirotic one of the best rebounders in the league, not just among the rookie class. I agree that his technique, particularly on the defensive boards has been both surprising and excellent. As for LaVine, not ready for prime time right now, but I bet we will be regretting passing on him in 2-3 years.

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    KJ McDaniels does wayyy more than just score. Please watch his games. He a relentless defender and probably the bets shot blocker in the nba relative to his height.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0dtXFtU3_0

  • Mirotic will probably end up getting robbed on the ROY, just watch. Then he'll do what he's done all year come playoff time and people will act surprised and wonder how he didn't win the reward. He might have a shot if he shaves that neck beard, or at least takes a pair of yard trimmers to it, it adds ten years to his appearance. If we still had Nate Rob he could probably hide himself in that thing, maybe even fit JL3 and CJ Watson in there as well. Either way the dude is an absolute baller.

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