Nikola Mirotic

Postseason Meeting: Nikola Mirotic

Mirotic, a restricted free agent says, "My first option will be Chicago."

By Sam Smith

The Bulls have the decision to make on whether to offer a new contract to Nikola Mirotic. He is a restricted free agent, which means they could match any offer. They also could renounce his rights and let him go as a free agent. He made $5.8 million this season.

The 6-10 forward from Montenegro and Spain averaged 10.6 points in his third season with the Bulls and shot 34.2 percent on threes. He was in and out of the rotation and then had a strong finish, averaging a season best 15.3 points in March and 12.6 in April. He averaged nine points before the All-Star break and 14.2 points afterward. He shot 41.3 percent on threes after the All-Star break. Mirotic averaged 8.7 points in the playoffs on 29 percent three-point shooting.

“My first option will be Chicago,” said Mirotic. “That's 100 percent, I can tell you now. I love this city, I love this team. Obviously, I didn't play my best game yet. I played it in some moments. It's still far and we’re going to wait ‘til July, but I can tell you my first option is Chicago. What I'm going to do over this summer is especially my body, I feel like that's the next step to improve, to be stronger, to be more consistent. I know that and I have enough time to get ready for that, to get five to 10 pounds of muscle. I'm going to be focused this summer to work on my body.”

Mirotic conceded it was a difficult way to end the season with the Game 6 uncompetitive loss to Boston after winning the first two games.

“It's tough,” said Mirotic. “It’s not something we wanted. But it's true that we had to put more effort playing at home. It should never happen. It should never end that way, but it is what it is. We cannot get that back. Now its time to think to see what we can do differently to be better. It's not an excuse, but we missed a lot Rondo after 2-0. It was a completely different game for us. In Boston, we threw the first punch, everybody was healthy, everybody was very sharp getting ready for the fight. Once we lost Rondo, I don't know, we kind of laid down and they threw the punch; we never knew how to respond.”

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.

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