Don’t expect the Bulls to make much of an effort to re-sign Nikola Mirotic in free agency this summer, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune writes in his latest mailbag. As Johnson observes, the Bulls can afford to be flexible with their approach to Mirotic, since he’s a restricted free agent — he may sign an offer sheet that they determine fits into their salary structure, in which case they could bring him back. However, Johnson doesn’t think Chicago will “proactively” try to lock up Mirotic to a new deal.
Within that same mailbag, Johnson also suggests that there’s a decent chance Chicago will listen to inquires on Jimmy Butler again this summer. Having acquired Cameron Payne and Joffrey Lauvergne at last month’s trade deadline, the Bulls want to continue accumulating “players they view as young assets,” and any package for Butler would likely include a few of those pieces.
Here’s more on the Bulls and a couple of their Central Division rivals:
- Dwyane Wade is a future Hall-of-Famer, but he’s entering the “awkward years” of his career and it’s not clear what’s in store for him in 2017/18 and beyond, says Steve Aschburner of NBA.com. Aschburner explores the potential next step for Wade, whether that means staying with the Bulls, returning to the Heat, or joining a new team this summer.
- In LeBron James‘ view, the idea of resting healthy players didn’t become a real issue for the NBA until after he sat out a game or two for the Cavaliers. The reigning Finals MVP also suggested to reporters on Tuesday that he disagreed with the notion that team owners should be involved in that decision, as commissioner Adam Silver has requested. Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com has the details and the quotes from James.
- Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie has no hard feelings toward the Pistons, for whom he played 46 games over two seasons before being traded last summer. Still, he admits that he was happy to beat them on Tuesday night with his new team, as Aaron McMann of MLive.com writes. “If your first job fired you, you come back and say, ‘What’s up fam, I’m with the New York Times now,'” Dinwiddie said to a reporter following Brooklyn’s win. “I love everybody in that organization. It’s just great to beat them.”