Amid reports regarding receiving a buyout, Chicago Bulls’ guard Dwyane Wade has likely played his last game with the team. Wade departing the Bulls could open the door for power forward Nikola Mirotic to return. As of now, the price which the Chicago Bulls are willing to bring Mirotic back is the question.
Speculation surrounding Dwyane Wade and his Chicago Bulls’ future was the topic of discussion days ago. Bleacher Report cited that the Bulls were looking to move on from Wade within the next few months via a buyout. Predictions of when that buyout would take place began not long after the report.
With the news of the Chicago Bulls engaged in buyout talks with Dwyane Wade, it would create a void of a veteran leader were it to happen. While the Bulls are looking to plummet down the NBA standings in favor of a better lottery pick next season, a need of a veteran is apparent. The Bulls’ need could be filled if they were to re-sign Nikola Mirotic.
Once the Chicago Bulls secure the expensive buyout with Dwyane Wade, they will likely see him sign with either the Cleveland Cavaliers or Miami Heat. Meanwhile, Nikola Mirotic will still be looking for a solid offer sheet from another NBA team, or an offer with the Bulls.
Many thought that the Chicago Bulls would have signed Mirotic by now. The stretch-forward is a restricted free agent seeking a hefty pay raise, one the Bulls have reportedly been reluctant to give.
Nikola Mirotic remains one of a handful of restricted free agents who remain unsigned. Mirotic joins a list of players that also includes Nerlens Noel, Alex Len and JaMychal Green struck with the RFA designation. The Chicago Bulls extended Mirotic a qualifying offer during the offseason. Doing such ensures that the Bulls could match any contract Mirotic sees.
According to Hoops Habit, there is realistic chance that Nikola Mirotic returns to the Chicago Bulls under the qualifying offer worth $7.2 million.
Keeping Dwyane Wade and retaining Nikola Mirotic would be enough to make the Chicago Bulls a respectable team. The Bulls would be capable of winning 30-33 games with both players. Without either of them, the Bulls would struggle to win 25 games. From a financial standpoint it makes sense for the Bulls to keep Mirotic one more season.
The Chicago Bulls have a salary cap situation that can absorb the $7.2 million contract of Nikola Mirotic. His presence could catapult the Bulls to the 25 win threshold.
It would be the hope that the Bulls could sign Mirotic and showcase him to interested teams looking to acquire help for the playoffs. The Bulls could also see if Mirotic is truly a player that will establish himself as a centerpiece. Nikola Mirotic’s time may also be up, but not at this time.
Bulls’ rookie Lauri Markkanen and third-year forward Bobby Portis have similar abilities as Mirotic. Markkanen has more upside, while Portis is a better rebounder and defender. If the Bulls want to play position-less basketball Mirotic is a fit. Next season it would have to be under the $7.2 million price tag.
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