Nikola Mirotic leaves behind oodles of $ for the chance at "playmaking freedom" in Barcelona.
Nikola Mirotic might be a tier below the upper echelon of NBA Free Agents this offseason, but rest assured, he was still a projected as a go-to option for teams in search of floor spacing, perimeter shooting, and a little bit of size up front. Shockingly, Nikola Mirotic was completely unmoved by the high degree of interest, as he's opted to sign for perennial Euroleague contender Barcelona, in lieu of netting a whopping $45-50 million contract in the NBA.
As Nate Duncan pointed out in the following Twitter post, Mirotic had most likely grown disinterest with the way he's been utilized in the NBA: as more of spot-up, off the ball shooter. Evidently, Mirotic's limited role masks some of the deficiencies in his game, namely the lapses in defence - but in Europe, he'll likely reclaim his ascendant position as a versatile, playmaking forward.
Born in Montenegro, Mirotic would eventually join the Real Madrid academy at the tender age of 14 - where he furthered his development until 2014 when he first joined the Chicago Bulls on a three-year entry-level contract. NBA teams are thus on high alert, with the knowledge of Mirotic's imminent departure for Europe. Nikola was by all accounts, one of the primary, secondary options for NBA teams in pursuit of key players like Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and Brook Lopez.