JULY 18TH: Mirotic’s contract is official, the team announced in a press release.
“We feel Nikola will be a great addition to our frontcourt where he he’ll be able to space the floor with his outstanding shooting ability,” Bulls GM Gar Forman said. “We’ve known Nikola for several years and we are confident he will be a great fit for our team both on and off the court. He’s a player with great potential.”
JULY 13TH: 5:48pm: Mirotic’s deal will be for $17MM+ over three years, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
5:33pm: The Bulls and Nikola Mirotic have reached agreement on a multi-year deal, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. The terms of the deal are not yet known. Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com reported last week that the two sides were nearing agreement.
The 6’10” forward has to make good on his buyout of Real Madrid, but that’ll be easier than once thought since the $3MM+ can be paid out over the course of multiple years. Mirotic is the most intriguing of the NBA’s draft-and-stash prospects, with interest only growing since he became the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 draft. He put up modest numbers of 12.1 points and 4.9 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game for Real Madrid this past season, but he shot 40.9% from behind the three-point line.
The Bulls aren’t bound by the rookie scale, since it’s been three years since Mirotic was drafted, but they can only pay $600K of his buyout this season, meaning the rest would have to come out of Mirotic’s salary. Still, since Real Madrid is willing to spread the buyout payments, it might not require a salary larger than the $5.305MM mid-level exception to bring him stateside. Estimates have varied from well above that amount to only $3MM.