And-Ones: Mirotic, In-Season Tourney, Transition Take Fouls

Nikola Mirotic finished only fourth in Spanish League MVP voting this season, but he has been named the Most Valuable Player for the EuroLeague, per an official release.

The former NBA forward had a terrific year for FC Barcelona, averaging 16.6 PPG and 5.1 RPG with a shooting line of .566/.455/.875 in just 24.2 MPG (36 games) in EuroLeague play. Mirotic ranked second in the league in points per game, behind only Thunder draft-and-stash prospect Vasilije Micic, and was among the league leaders in total three-pointers made.

Mirotic, who appeared in 319 NBA games from 2014-19, has been back in Europe for the last three seasons after making the surprising decision to turn down lucrative NBA offers at age 28. His Barcelona squad is set to face Real Madrid at the EuroLeague Final Four on Thursday.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The NBA continues to discuss a possible in-season tournament and could implement it as soon as the 2023/24 season, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The league has been encouraged by the success of the play-in tournament and is ramping up its planning on a mid-season tourney, Charania adds.
  • According to Charania (Twitter links), the NBA is strongly considering tweaking the rules on take fouls in transition by awarding the offensive team a free throw and the ball. The proposal, which will be voted on in July at the Board of Governors meeting, had “widespread support” at this week’s GM meeting, per Charania.
  • During an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio, commissioner Adam Silver floated the idea of requiring a minimum number of games played for end-of-season award eligibility, tweets Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. There’s no indication the NBA is seriously considering implementing such a rule, but the fact that Silver even mentioned it is interesting.
  • FIBA continues not to allow the national teams from Russia and Belarus to participate in international competitions, announcing in a press release that the countries have been withdrawn from a series of upcoming events, including the 2023 World Cup qualifiers. FIBA first banned the two countries from international play on March 1 following their invasion of Ukraine, and shows no signs of reversing the decision.
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