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Bulls Told Nikola Mirotic They Wouldn’t Trade Him

Nikola Mirotic freed himself from his Spanish league contract last month only after the Bulls made a commitment not to trade him, a source tells David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune. Fellow Tribune scribe K.C. Johnson had reported that the 6’10” forward had sought such assurances, but it hadn’t been clear whether the Bulls had responded. Chicago reportedly offered Mirotic to the Timberwolves this week as part of a package for Kevin Love, but Mirotic and his representatives at Xpheres Basketball Management are under the impression that Chicago has made him a part of no such offer.

Agent Igor Crespo secured a 15% trade kicker for Mirotic that the Bulls would have to pay were they to deal him anywhere. The highly touted European prospect came away with a three-year deal worth more than $16.6MM after staying out of the NBA for three years after becoming the No. 23 overall pick in the 2011 draft. Remaining out of the league for so long meant he’d no longer be confined to the rookie scale once he did come to the NBA. A scale contract would have afforded him a salary of no more than $1.3MM for this season.

Mirotic became a star in Europe over the past few years while he waited to join the Bulls, and he’d no doubt have been a sought-after commodity if he’d been available on the free agent market. The offer the Bulls reportedly made involved Taj Gibson and 2014 No. 11 overall pick Doug McDermott in addition to Mirotic. Still, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times couldn’t confirm the presence of Mirotic’s name in the offer when he wrote that Gibson and McDermott were indeed on the table.

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14 thoughts on “Bulls Told Nikola Mirotic They Wouldn’t Trade Him

  1. Tanner

    They shouldn’t make the push for Kevin Love, Mirotic will be a better PF. Just got to give him time along side Gasol and Noah. I still don’t see why they’re going for Love.

    • Its fairly simple actually. Do you go after a 23 year old stretch 4 who will need at least 2-3 years to get acclimated to the game and improve his outside shot to the caliber’s of Love? Or do you go after a 25 year old Top 12 player in the game, perennial All-star, and double-double machine who can instantly make you title contenders.
      I dont know how you can make a definitive statement that Mirotic will be a better PF than Love. That means you’re saying Mirotic will be a top 10 player in the NBA sometime in the next few years… Possible but highly, highly unlikely.
      And giving him time next to Gasol or Noah is something neither Gasol or Noah have. Gasol is 34. Noah is entering his 30’s. The championship window is now not 3 years from now.

      • T Bernard Moore

        I am a Kevin Love fan, but he has not yet established that he has a championship pedigree – let alone a playoff-making pedigree. Bulls should pass on him and wreak havoc with all the young talent they now have.

    • Sky14

      Mirotic will be a better PF, based on what exactly? Love is arguably the best PF in the game already, you couldn’t possibly be suggesting Mirotic, who isn’t much younger than Love, will top that based on reports.

      • Anthony E Hinton

        Only time will tell, but I’d rather have 3 or 4 guns for the price of 1 or 2. Gibson, Mirotic, and McDermott playing with gasol and Noah looks a lot better than just Love playing with Gasol and Noah. You can’t have all 3 (Love, Gasol, and Noah.) under the boards grabbing rebounds at one time because you need floor spacing so all three’s (or at least 2 of those guys) rebounding percentage goes down. Next on defense, Love is a liability! On staying healthy, Love is a liability! On financial flexibility, Love is a liability! What we have right now is so balanced on offense and defense that we should not try to re-fix what just got fixed. Gar-Pax nailed it and Thibs is the hammer! Next season will be magic for Chicago all over again! It’s all a moot point anyway about who will be better than who because we have what we have and Love is not in the equation anymore!

  2. Chuck – I’m sorry but we do not know if the Bulls did or did not make assurances to Mirotic about a trade. David Haugh has never been an “inside scoop guy” and his “sources” is as good as me calling my grandmother and asking what she thinks.
    What we DO know is that Mirotic had a falling out with his Spanish league team and head coach. Mirotic did not like the way he was being used and was looking to leave his team, pay the penalty and come to the States and start his NBA career. It must be clarified that he didn’t free himself based on the Bulls assurances but rather he was trying to free himself from the Spanish league contract and seeking a Bulls no-trade assurance. And again, we dont know if that was given or not.
    We also dont know if he’s part of a package that the Bulls purportedly offered. Time will tell.

    • HoopsRumors

      Sorry, but I disagree. The Chicago Tribune’s as reputable as it gets. I know them well enough to know they wouldn’t let that run if they didn’t think there was truth to it.


  3. slugger23

    Depending on how well Mirotic adapts to the NBA the bulls could arguably have the strongest front court in the league with Noah, Gasol, Gibson, and Mirotic. The bulls need to find some depth at the 2 more so than add a player like Love who could deplete their depth.

  4. By the way – if Mirotic really wanted assurances that the Bulls would not trade him, he could have negotiated what they call a “no-trade clause.” Apparently Haugh or his sources have never heard of this provision. The fact that he instead signed a contract AGREEING to a trade kicker provision means that Mirotic knows the Bulls could trade him and any no-trade assurances that he was looking for really only goes as far as not receiving some sort of financial benefit- if he were traded. The inference is that a trade could and would be an opportunity for the Bulls, if they chose to but they’d have to pay some money to do so.
    Not sure what Haugh is trying to do – painting the Bulls as a deceiving or underhanded organization.

    • Kevin6CD

      A no-trade clause isn’t an option for a rookie contract. This is from Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ: “A no-trade clause can be negotiated into a new contract if the player has been in the NBA for at least eight seasons, and has played for the team with which he is signing for at least four seasons.”

      • Ok I see. I thought since Mirotic was not signing a “rookie” scale deal, he gets absolved from this condition. Interesting… thanks for pointing it out.
        Haugh is still an idiot.

      • Jeff Gottlieb

        You’re right about the “no-trade clause”, but the 15% kicker in itself seems to contradict the notion that the Bulls promised not to trade him. If that really is the case, then what’s the point of the kicker. They may have given some indication that they didn’t intend to deal him, but I’d be fairly confident that they didn’t assure anything, but instead allowed for the 15% sweetener as extra compensation should a trade eventually happen.

  5. Dwood

    It makes no sense to go after love now, this shoud have been done after the swing & miss on Carmelo Anthony….so now u get love & move pau to the bench, & kevin love is not going to guarantee a championship, Rather take the chance with dept!

  6. Dwood

    What they should be looking for is another player who can create his own shot!

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