|23rd September, 2009||Spain||Loaned by Real Madrid to Faymasa Palencia for one season.|
|20th April, 2010||Spain||Returned by Faymasa Palencia.|
|27th April, 2011||Spain||Signed with Real Madrid to an extension through 2014.|
|2011 NBA Draft||NBA||Drafted 23rd overall by Houston.|
|24th June, 2011||NBA||Draft rights traded by Houston, along with Brad Miller and a 2013 first round pick (#26, Andre Roberson), to Minnesota in exchange for the draft rights to Donatas Motiejunas (#20, 2011), Jonny Flynn and a 2012 second round pick (#40, Will Barton).|
|24th June, 2011||NBA||Draft rights traded by Minnesota to Chicago in exchange for the draft rights to Norris Cole (#28, 2011) and Malcolm Lee (#43, 2011).|
|18th July, 2014||NBA||Signed a three year, $16,631,175 contract with Chicago.|
|25th September, 2017||NBA||Re-signed by Chicago to a two year, $25 million contract. Included team option for 2018/19.|
|2006 - September 2009||Real Madrid (Spain)|
|September 2009 - June 2010||Faymasa Palencia (LEB Gold)|
|July 2010 - July 2014||Real Madrid (Spain)|
|July 2014 - present||Chicago Bulls (NBA)|
June 29, 2017
PF, 6’10, 220lbs, 26 years old, 3 years of experience
At times highly valuable, at times wholly unreliable. Mirotic for some reason cannot shoot from the right side of the court, and was an inefficient three-point shooter overall at 33.9% despite shooting more than 5.4 outside attempts per game. He has eschewed driving the ball and posting in lieu of casting up three-pointers and throwing fakes, which invariably result in a three-pointer anyway. It is fair to say that Mirotic’s main value going forward will be as a shooter, yet in pressing so hard to be one, he actually undermined this ability and was barely a net positive for the team. Nevertheless, he defends perimeter action better than most other stretch four options and is a willing helper, all in all carrying an excellent skill set for a modern era power forward. He just now needs to get good at the one thing he most wants to be.
Player Plan: Entering restricted free agency with a $7,228,063 qualifying offer. The qualifying offer amount is about right for a player who has shown signs, but little con-sistency, and whose main asset is unabashed three-point shooting that he just is not especially good at. A bigger offer sheet may be coming, however.
January 5, 2014
As I have written about many times this season, getting good and staying good are two different facets of team building that are as important as each other. The Bulls got good, but due to injuries, have not been able to stay good - nonetheless, they are uniquely positioned to be able to get good again very quickly. In between Nikola Mirotic (arguably the best player in Europe), Jimmy Butler (a player whose poor start to this season belies his versatility and effectiveness), and the still outstanding first round draft pick from the Charlotte Bobcats, the Bulls are already armed with an incredibly strong core for the future. Add to that the returning Rose (to some standard to be determined), Tony Snell, this year's first round pick and an apexing frontcourt duo of Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah, the Bulls can be a 55 win team again very soon, for less than the cost of the previous 55 win team, with more youth, and better health.
June 25, 2011
Pick 23: While ESPN goes to commercial, the internet announces that the next pick - which has already been traded once, from Houston to Minnesota - will be traded again, moved on to Chicago in exchange for the #28 and #43. The pick itself is used on Nikola Mirotic, the best remaining player and a top 10-15 talent in this draft, who has fallen due to a contractual situation.
Naturally, while the rest of the world analyses the deal for Chicago, Fran Fraschilla talks about Mirotic's fit on the Rockets. When Fran has finished, Ric Bucher finally reports the #20/#23 swap, yet he is still one step behind. ESPN is the self-professed worldwide leader in sports, but in the Twitter era, when word can be syndicated around the globe within five minutes (and which it must be competed with, if a conglomerate is to retain a competitive advantage), ESPN is trailing the game. Must Improve: Twitter Synergy.
As far as I understand it - and confirmation awaits - Mirotic signed an extension with Real Madrid through the 2014 back at the start of May. He doesn't necessarily have to stay there until then, since contracts are broken all the time, when the right incentive is in play. But it is definite that he will not join the NBA next season, and thereafter, it is unclear yet unlikely. Even though he won't join the NBA for a good while, though, Mirotic is a great get for the Bulls. No one in this draft other than Valanciunas and Vesely has played at, and achieved at, the kind of standard of competition that Mirotic has. Kemba Walker winning a national title is not the same thing. Mirotic forced his way into the rotation of one of the world's best, by being too damn good to ignore, and he's only 20. His play was so good that it forced the releases of both Jorge Garbajosa and once-prized prospect Novica Velickovic, who just couldn't be justified ahead of him. Put simply, Mirotic was better than them, and his rise is so meteoric that had he waited another season to declare, he would probably be a lottery pick. And yet the Bulls just got him with the de facto #28.
If you can get a talent like that with the #28 pick in a crap draft, you've played a belter. Did San Antonio pass on Tiago Splitter back in 2007 because they overly prioritised shoehorning mediocre young solutions into their few short term problems? No. And nor should they have. It is really not that important that Mirotic is not a shooting guard, the Bulls position of greatest need, despite what the Jon Barry perspective on the subject might say. The position can and will be addressed elsewhere. And probably by Michael Redd.
Mirotic is not comparable to Toni Kukoc as a player, but these circumstances are comparable.
June 24, 2011
Nikola Mirotic - Mirotic recently sign an extension with Real Madrid through 2014, and is likely to plummet in the draft accordingly. This is unfortunate, because he is one of the better talents in it. Mirotic did such a good job last year playing Jorge Garbajosa's role that he caused Jorge Garbajosa to fall out of the rotation and eventually get released. He's a versatile two way player who does a bit of everything, and has done it on a bigger stage than everyone else mentioned here, one of the most experienced players in the draft. There is absolutely no doubt that Mirotic is (or at least, will be) a rotation calibre NBA player. The only question is whether he wants to be. It doesn't look as though he does.
March 24, 2011
The star frontcourt player, though, has been Nikola Mirotic. Not expected to be a big time player for Real, especially aged only 20, Mirotic has demanded a big role on the team based on his superior play. Mirotic contributes in pretty much all facets of the game - shooting, running, rebounding, finishing, driving, defending, even occasionally posting - and does so at all stages of the game, proving to be a vital clutch player in his first full season with this or any team. Mirotic has played so well that Jorge Garbajosa got released, as he was rendered surplus to requirements. Mirotic has played so well that versatile and once highly touted Serbain prospect Novica Velickovic now struggles to get rotation minutes, having to force a fit at small forward just to take the court. Mirotic has played so well that captain Felipe Reyes is also slowly seeing his role become marginalised, to the point that he will inevitably be squeezed out at some point in the next two years, just like Raul was. For all the ex- or future-NBA talent on the team, Mirotic is the one most likely to get there, stay there, and thrive there. And absolutely no one saw any of it coming. Mirotic could well be all three of the best young player, most improved player and most surprising player in the Euroleague this season. And rather than just buying them in, Real Madrid actually developed this one from within.