About five months ago, I did a throw in article about Nikola Mirotic. It was late and I had done a late game recap of a Bulls game. I decided to do a column post about Nikola Mirotic because of two reasons.
1) For a three-week period during the regular season, that was all everyone was talking about.
2) Luol Deng had been traded at the time and Nikola Mirotic was the justification of it all. The Bulls were going to clear up cap space to create a scenario to bring him over to the NBA next season.
Pippen Peoples, the rumors were floating around then, like the rumors are now about Carmelo Anthony. That period of time belonged to Mirotic.
Now that Carmelo Anthony got his three-hour tour of the United Center this week which was topped off with watching a Derrick Rose workout, he left as of this writing unsigned. He did the Texas two-step in Dallas and Houston. He finished his NBA wish list of cities in Los Angeles. I going out on a limb that Carmelo Anthony will be making his decision very soon, possibly by the beginning of next week.
I’m not going to go into why Carmelo Anthony is not coming to Chicago…again. That’s what Pippen Ain’t Easy is for. The best source for Bulls news, previews and reviews. Log on, there are plenty of articles to break it down for you.
I will go into the next steps for what Chicago is going to have to do if Anthony DOES NOT come to Chicago. Pau Gasol is next in line of free agents that are on the Bulls wish list. Representatives for the Bulls flew to Los Angeles to talk to the big man and make an effort to sell Gasol on leaving La-La land to come to the Windy City. According to reports, they weren’t the only ones that wanted to talk to Pau. It was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, that Carmelo Anthony wanted to talk to Gasol about possibly wanting to play with him…in New York! Don’t you love this time of year Pippen Peoples?
Has anyone noticed that Nikola Mirotic has gone from the everyday rumor mill to getting back to pass and stash in Europe? Like again.
What happened to the guy that was supposedly the best player in Europe? What happened to the next “Dirk Nowitzki?” If the Bulls were that desperate to get him over to the NBA, what’s the hold up with the negotiations?
Look, I get the fact the Bulls had to push their chips in to try to get Carmelo Anthony in a Bulls uniform. That is understood and smart might I add. But again I’ll say this.
Carmelo Anthony is not coming.
Pau Gasol, if the Bulls can convince him to come to Chicago is a GREAT pick up. Pau Gasol is one of the most skilled big men in the world. Not just the NBA, but the world. There are not many big men that can play in the post as well as he can. I know it was a tough couple of years for Pau. But that was because he was coached by Mike Dum’toni who parked him out to the three-point line. Put him together with Joakim Noah who is another great passing big man and the Bulls will not be dead last in the league in scoring next year. Trust me. Only one problem.
Pau Gasol is not coming. (Pau Gasol agreed to a deal. Not signed since this writing)
Call me a pessimist if you like, but stand back and think for a minute. There are some things that are going to keep Pau Gasol out of a Bulls uniform.
The man loves Los Angeles.
If you have been paying attention, Pau has always enjoyed Laker Land. If it wasn’t for an idiot yes man being brought in to placate Jim Buss, he’d still be loving L.A. Now that Mike D’Antoni is now gone, Gasol can go back to his natural position which is on the block.
There are really only two places that Gasol would leave California for. Memphis, so he can play with his brother and yep you guessed it.
Keep thinking the Knicks can’t get him on the team if you want to, but your feelings will get hurt. The Knicks can offer Gasol the non-tax player exception which amounts to $10,276,530 over three years. Couple that with playing in an offensive system that he knows he will be used correctly in. If the report is true that Carmelo Anthony was doing an informal recruiting pitch to Gasol, it might have worked.
Now if these guys take a pass on the Bulls, and the front office smartly doesn’t panic and over pay Lance Stephenson, who’s next?
Now that Carlos Boozer’s contract will be off the books. The Bulls will have cap space going forward. Now understand they have to do something with it no matter if these two guys don’t sign or not. What are they going to do with this guy?
Nikola Mirotic’s team, Real Madrid recently lost the Euroleague championship game. Mirotic finished with 12 points and seven rebounds in the game.
In the game, Mirotic showed flashes of why this guy can help the Bulls. He has the perimeter game that can help the team out. He can face up and shoot the ball from long-range. He can handle the ball and push it up the court. He can be that stretch four that is becoming more and more common in the NBA these days.
Sure Mirotic has his issues. He struggles on the defensive end of the floor and has difficulty scoring against physical players. But these issues won’t be addressed in Europe. He needs to experience the NBA game to get better and learn. Of course, the Bulls need to come up out the pocket to do this.
Now what? With the Carlos Boozer amnesty countdown to July 10th, the Bulls have a lot of salary cap space coming. If plan A and B don’t work. Plan C is bringing Mirotic over from across the pond to play for the Bulls.