Nikola Mirotic signs an agreement to remain with the Chicago Bulls. The news of Mirotic’s contract signing was announced just hours prior to the news that the Bulls made the decision to buyout superstar guard Dwyane Wade, according to Bleacher Report.
The move to keep Nikola Mirotic sends a clear message that he has the opportunity to be part of the Chicago Bulls’ rebuilding process. If he can attribute himself well as the Bulls’ top offensive options, Mirotic could become the long-term fixture the franchise envisioned him to be when they traded for him in the 2011 NBA draft.
According to Slam Online, the Chicago Bulls and Nikola Mirotic agreed on a two-year, $27 million deal. The Bulls protected themselves by making the second year of Mirotic’s contract a team option. This season the Bulls will give the fourth-year forward an opportunity to audition for a spot as a core player.
If Mirotic can shake off his inconsistencies from his first three seasons it could mean a hefty pay raise in the summer of 2019. He is the last remaining member of the Bulls’ team he played on during his rookie season.
The Chicago Bulls have practically turned over their entire roster in the past couple of years, and will look drastically different this season.
Prior to the buyout of Dwyane Wade, the Chicago Bulls dealt Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn.
LaVine will miss at least the first month of the season as he recovers from knee surgery. This leaves Nikola Mirotic as the only healthy proven offensive player the Bulls have on their roster.
The Chicago Bulls are taking a huge gamble on Nikola Mirotic, hoping that he can become a star player. Without Butler and Wade around to take up much of the shots, Mirotic will have plenty of chances to prove himself.
Mirotic can veto any trade in the first year of his new deal. https://t.co/cRwdMB66cw— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) September 25, 2017
By designating the second year of the two-year deal as a team option, the Bulls cannot bail on Nikola Mirotic if things do not work out. Mirotic can shoot down any trade that the Bulls would attempt to include him in this upcoming season.
Back in July, as several NBA free agents were being signed, Nikola Mirotic expressed his desire to remain with the Bulls (courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times).
“The good thing is both sides are talking. They want this to happen, too. That’s the most important thing. I’m happy they still want me. I’m very happy in Chicago.”
Nikola Mirotic must now show that he belongs in the NBA by living up to his capabilities with the second chance the Chicago Bulls is giving him. Mirotic must prove worthy of being the lone remaining member of the 2014-15 Chicago Bulls’ team which had championship aspirations.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]