Nikola Mirotic

International Notes: Mirotic, Scola, M. Gasol, Rudez

Former NBA forward Nikola Mirotic has been named MVP of Liga ACB, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. It’s the second European MVP award for the 29-year-old, who is preparing for a semifinal playoff game tomorrow with his FC Barcelona team.

Mirotic made a surprising decision to return to Europe last summer after five NBA seasons. He was projected to land a contract somewhere in the range of $45MM over three years if he had remained in the NBA, and Johnson reports that he had an offer in place from the Jazz. Mirotic spent most of his career with the Bulls, and split last season between the Pelicans and Bucks.

“You can see it in my face, in my smile. It was a good surprise, it brightened my day,” he said in an interview with Eurohoops.net about winning the award. “The MVP award for me means a collective work of the team. This award goes to all my teammates who have helped me to be better every day. Each game has helped me to feel good. And of course to the coaching staff who have managed to put me in the best position that I feel effective. And also for all those who support us, the fans.”

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Luis Scola, who left Olympia Milano earlier this month, will remain in Italy and sign with Varese, a source tells Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. The 40-year-old forward hopes to play one more season before ending his career with the Olympics next summer.
  • Raptors center Marc Gasol announced Friday that the club he owns in Spain, Girona Basket, will create the country’s first 3×3 professional team, according to Michael Houston of insidethegame.biz. Growing in popularity around the world, 3×3 basketball will make its Olympics debut next year in Tokyo.
  • Former Pacers, Timberwolves and Magic forward Damjan Rudez signed a two-year deal with Donar in the Netherlands, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

International Notes: Beaubois, Spain, Nurse, James

Anadolu Efes of Turkey and former NBA guard Rodrigue Beaubois have reached a contract extension agreement until 2022, Sportando’s Dario Skerletic relays via Israeli reporter Roi Cohen. Beaubois played four seasons for Dallas from 2009-13. This season, the French guard averaged 11.1 PPG over 43 games.

We have more news from around the basketball world:

  • Spain’s ACB league has been suspended indefinitely, according to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Play was already suspended until April 24th due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The league’s teams will decide how to proceed n the upcoming weeks.
  • Raptors coach Nick Nurse remains fully committed to coaching Team Canada in Tokyo Olympic qualifiers, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. Nurse is “really excited” about it and hopes the Olympics, rescheduled for next summer, can go forward as planned.
  • A trio of former NBA players heads the list of the best players in Europe, according to Jeff Greer of The Athletic. A survey of 21 coaches and players overseas choose former Phoenix and New Orleans guard Mike James as the top player in Europe this season in a close votes. Guard Shane Larkin and forward Nikola Mirotic tied for the second-most votes. Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Deni Avdija, a likely top-10 pick in this year’s draft, is considered the top international NBA prospect.

International Notes: Mirotic, Bolomboy, Douglas, N’Doye

Nikola Mirotic was said to be in line for at least one contract offer in the three-year, $45MM range if he had remained in the NBA last summer, but he opted instead to return to the country where he began his professional career, signing with Barcelona. While he may not be earning quite as lucrative a salary in Spain, the veteran forward is enjoying a successful season so far.

The EuroLeague announced this week that Mirotic has been named the league’s MVP for the month of February, the equivalent of the NBA’s Player of the Month award. It’s the second time this season that Mirotic has earned the honor — he knocked down a pair of game-winning shots in February and averaged 21.0 PPG for the month. His Barcelona squad is now 20-6, good for third in the EuroLeague standings.

Here are more notes from around the international basketball world:

  • Former NBA forward Joel Bolomboy has signed a two-year contract extension with Russia’s CSKA Moscow, the club announced this week in a press release. Bolomboy, a former Weber State standout who appeared in 18 NBA games between 2016-18 for Utah and Milwaukee, is now under contract with the EuroLeague club through the 2021/22 season.
  • Veteran guard Toney Douglas, who played 394 regular season NBA games from 2010-17, has signed with Italian team Pallacanestro Varese for the remainder of the season, the club announced in a press release (hat tip to Sportando). Douglas has also played in Turkey and Spain since last suiting up for an NBA team.
  • After testing the draft waters a year ago, French prospect Abdoulaye N’Doye wasn’t sure he’d be drafted and decided to try to improve his stock leading up to his final year of eligibility. So far, N’Doye’s plan to bet on himself has been a success, according to Jeff Greer of The Athletic, who explores how the young guard’s impressive season for Cholet Basket has improved his standing on big boards for 2020.

International Notes: Bertans, Mozgov, Mirotic, Motiejunas

Having being waived by the Pelicans on Sunday, Dairis Bertans didn’t waste much time in lining up a new home, with a report indicating that he had reached an agreement to sign with Russian club Khimki.

The Moscow Region-based team made it official earlier today, announcing (via Twitter) that Bertans is joining Khimki on a two-year deal. The veteran shooting guard technically hasn’t even cleared NBA waivers yet – that won’t happen until Tuesday – but presumably agent Arturs Kalnitis and Khimki management are both confident that no team will place a claim on Davis Bertans‘ older brother.

Here are a few more international notes related to NBA veterans:

  • Bertans isn’t the only player on NBA waivers receiving interest from Khimki. A source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando that the Russian club is also trying to bring center Timofey Mozgov back to his home country, and hopes to reach a deal in the near future. Artem Komarov (Twitter link) first reported the talks between Khimki and Mozgov, who was released by the Magic on Saturday.
  • Nikola Mirotic officially signed with Barcelona on Saturday, with the club issuing a press release to announce the deal. According to the team, Mirotic’s contract will span three years, with a fourth-year option for the 2022/23 season. The veteran power forward was expected to receive a three-year offer in the $45MM range from Utah, but opted to return to Spain instead.
  • After appearing briefly in three games for the Spurs down the stretch in 2018/19, power forward Donatas Motiejunas appears likely to head back overseas. According to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, Motiejunas is receiving significant interest from the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. Motiejunas’ former CBA team in Shandong must decide by July 15 whether to make him a restricted free agent, as Carchia explains.

Southwest Notes: Mavericks, Broekhoff, Bradley, G. Green

The Mavericks’ first two moves when free agency begins tomorrow will involve Tobias Harris and Kristaps Porzingis, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. A source tells Townsend the Mavs will make an offer to Harris that’s below the maximum, and they expect the Sixers to top it with a full, five-year max deal. They plan to make their own max offer to Porzingis, a restricted free agent, paying him $158MM over five seasons. That signing won’t be finalized until all the other moves are in place, allowing the team to take advantage of its $30.3MM in cap room.

Thirteen of Dallas’ top 15 free agent targets remain on the board after a day that featured several reported deals, Townsend adds. The only ones crossed off the list are Kemba Walker, who will join the Celtics, and Nikola Mirotic, who has committed to play in Spain. Walker was the Mavericks’ primary target, according to Townsend, and Harris was secondary, while the rest are divided into various “two- and three-player contingencies.”

There’s more tonight from the Southwest Division:

  • Ryan Broekhoff‘s $1.4MM contract is fully guaranteed for next season after the Mavericks let today’s deadline pass without taking any action, Townsend tweets. The 28-year-old shooting guard signed with Dallas last summer and appeared in 42 games as a rookie.
  • Grizzlies guard Avery Bradley has agreed to extend the guarantee date on his contract from July 3 to July 8, tweets Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic. The move gives Bradley greater flexibility after the moratorium lifts, notes Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian, who adds that there was no financial compensation for the change (Twitter link).
  • There’s a strong possibility that veteran forward Gerald Green will return to the Rockets for another season, according to Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic (Twitter link). A Houston native, Green signed with the organization midway through the 2017/18 season, then played this year on a veteran’s minimum contract.

Free Agency Notes: Mirotic, Kanter, Knicks

Nikola Mirotic helped kick off free agency weekend by opting to play in Barcelona next season. It’s a surprising development considering he was a coveted free agent.

The Jazz had their eye on Mirotic and had “major interest” in trying to sign him to a three-year deal in the $45MM range, Marc Stein of The New York Times hears (Twitter link). The market for stretch fours is even thinner now after Mirotic’s decision.

Let’s take a look at more free agency notes from around the league:

  • The Clippers have interest in Enes Kanter, Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard reports (Twitter link). Broussard also confirms that the Celtics and Lakers are eyeing the center, as was previously reported.
  • There’s been no indication that the Celtics are still pursuing Clint Capela, whether it be a Rockets‘ sign-and-trade involving Jimmy Butler or any scenario, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald tweets. Capela had previously been linked to Boston.
  • The Knicks will not extend a qualifying offer to Isaiah Hicks, Ian Begley of SNY.tv tweets. Hicks was on a two-way contract last season.
  • New York has interest in George Hill and Wayne Ellington, Begley relays in a full-length piece. Both veterans will be targets regardless of whether the Knicks land any stars in free agency.

Nikola Mirotic To Play In Barcelona

Veteran power forward Nikola Mirotic will sign with EuroLeague club Barcelona, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. The terms of his deal have not yet been disclosed.

On the heels of Darren Collison‘s stunning retirement announcement, this is another surprising decision that takes a second high-quality free agent off the market just before the new league year begins.

Mirotic was expected to be in line for a deal worth approximately $45-50MM if he had remained in the NBA, Charania adds. He made $12.5MM during the 2018/19 season, though he was forced to move to Milwaukee when the Pelicans dealt him to the Bucks at the trade deadline.

The 28-year-old’s decision makes the Bucks’ offseason priority a little clearer. Malcolm Brogdon, Brook Lopez, and Khris Middleton are all in need of new contracts and it would have been difficult for Milwaukee to bring back all of their pending free agents.

There were whispers that Mirotic would consider a deal in Spain, as Sportando recently relayed. He had played for Real Madrid prior to coming over to the NBA in 2014.

The Mavericks and Jazz were among the teams expected to have interest in Mirotic. Since coming to the league in 2014, Mirotic has seen action in 319 contests.

Mannix’s Latest: Celtics, Brogdon, Lakers, Favors, Ross

With Kyrie Irving and Al Horford expected to sign elsewhere and Aron Baynes having been re-routed to Phoenix, the Celtics have the ability to create about $25.8MM — or up to $34MM-ish if they renounce Terry Rozier.

As Chris Mannix of SI.com notes in his latest look at free agency, Kemba Walker has been linked to the Celtics this week, but he’s not the only free agent the club is considering. According to Mannix, Boston has internally discussed the possibility of pursuing Bucks RFA-to-be Malcolm Brogdon.

There has also been speculation about Bradley Beal as a potential trade target for the Celtics, but that probably won’t be an option, according to Mannix, who notes that Beal (a favorite of team owner Ted Leonsis) has been told by the Wizards that he won’t be dealt. Even if Beal were available, there’s a feeling in Boston that it might take Jayson Tatum to acquire him, Mannix adds.

Here’s more from Mannix:

  • The Lakers have shopped their “spare parts” in trade discussions, but talks have gone nowhere so far, league sources tell Mannix. Presumably, Mannix is referring to Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, who would have to be rolled into the Lakers’ Anthony Davis blockbuster for the club to maximize its cap room.
  • While it seems likely that he’ll be back, the Jazz haven’t necessarily locked in on retaining Derrick Favors, who has a non-guaranteed $17.65MM contract. Mannix suggests that Nikola Mirotic could be a name worth keeping an eye for Utah on if Favors is released to create cap room.
  • The Magic have been “steadfast” in their desire to re-sign top free agents Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, and some within the organization are anxious to see what their market value will be, writes Mannix. Ross may be a candidate to receive a big contract offer from a team in need of a three-and-D wing, according to Mannix, who speculates that the sharpshooter could command $15MM per year.

Bucks Rumors: Brogdon, Lopez, Hill, Mirotic

After entering the exclusive 50/40/90 shooting club in 2018/19, Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon will be a sought-after target this offseason. Sources tell Gery Woelfel of WoelfelsPressBox.com that the Sixers and Pacers are among the teams considering making a play for the restricted free agent.

Four NBA sources who spoke to Woelfel predicted that Brogdon would receive an offer in the range of $16-21MM per year. And while most of those sources have heard that the Bucks plan to match any offer on Brogdon, they’re not all entirely convinced that will happen.

“They can say that now, but I’m sure the Bucks, just like any team, have a cutoff point where they won’t go over to keep him,” an Eastern Conference executive said to Woelfel. “I still think he (Brogdon) is the odd guy out in Milwaukee.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe expressed a similar sentiment during the network’s free agency special on Tuesday night. As relayed by Sagar Trika (via Twitter), the two ESPN insiders discussed whether Milwaukee would be able to retain all three of Brogdon, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez, and agreed that Brogdon might be the trickiest to bring back.

Here’s more on the Bucks:

  • The Bucks and Brook Lopez are both motivated to get a deal done, a source tell Chris Mannix of SI.com. Woelfel’s sources believe Lopez will get an annual salary in the range of $10-13MM in free agency, and view Los Angeles as a potential fit for the big man if he doesn’t stick with the Bucks. “I’ve been hearing a quite a bit about the Lakers and Lopez,” one executive told Woelfel.
  • Executives who spoke to Woelfel view George Hill as a candidate to receive an offer in the neighborhood of $7-10MM if and when he’s released by the Bucks. That would make him a target for teams with the full mid-level exception available.
  • One NBA executive predicted a salary in the $13-15MM range for Nikola Mirotic, while another league official split the difference and projected $14MM, Woelfel writes. Mirotic is considered more likely to leave the Bucks than to re-sign, given the club’s cap limitations.
  • Veteran guard Xavier Munford, who has previously appeared in NBA games for Memphis and Milwaukee, will suit up for the Bucks’ Summer League squad in July, tweets Malika Andrews of ESPN.com.

Mavs Interested In Patrick Beverley, Nikola Mirotic

Free-agent-to-be guard Patrick Beverley is “very much in play” for the Mavericks next week, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Sources tell Townsend that Beverley and the Mavs view one another as a “perfect fit.”

It remains to be seen how much of their projected cap room the Mavs will be willing to commit to Beverley, who figures to be in line for a sizable raise. The veteran point guard is also expected to draw interest from teams like the Lakers, Clippers, and Sixers. Still, a source tells Townsend that Beverley and the Mavs plan to meet near the start of free agency.

Nikola Mirotic is another free agent receiving consideration from the Mavericks, a source tells Townsend, though the veteran power forward is further down on the team’s wish list than Beverley. Mirotic appears unlikely to re-sign with the Bucks, since they’ll also be trying to bring back Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, and Brook Lopez.

Meanwhile, Nikola Vucevic has long been viewed as a potential target for Dallas, but Townsend hears that the Magic center will be seeking a starting salary in the $25MM range, which would likely price the Mavs out of the bidding. The Magic, Celtics, and Kings could be among the teams in play for Vucevic, Townsend adds, noting that Al Horford appears to be a more likely target for Dallas if the club decides to spend big on a center.

The Mavs project to have about $29-30MM in cap space this summer if they keep the cap holds for Kristaps Porzingis, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Maxi Kleber on their books. They could create a little extra flexibility by renouncing Finney-Smith and/or Kleber, but wouldn’t be able to carve out significantly more space without moving a player like Tim Hardaway or Courtney Lee.