Bulls acquire forward Nikola Mirotic
June 24, 2011 -- The Chicago Bulls acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves the 23rd pick (Nikola Mirotic, Montenegro) of the 2011 NBA Draft. In exchange, the Bulls conveyed the 28th pick (Norris Cole, Cleveland State) and 43rd pick (Malcolm Lee, UCLA) of the Draft, as well as cash. Minnesota had acquired the 23rd pick from the Houston Rockets in an earlier Draft-related trade.
Nikola Mirotic (KNEE-coh-lah ME-row-titch), a 6-10, 220-pound forward, spent the 2010-11 season with Real Madrid's senior team. The 20-year old native of Podgorica, Montenegro appeared in 27 contests, and averaged 7.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 0.60 spg in 16.1 mpg, and he shot .415 from behind the arc. An early-entry candidate for the 2011 NBA Draft, Mirotec played for Joker School Podgorica Academy in his native Montenegro from 2004-06, before he joined Real Madrid's junior squad in 2006. Most recently, he was the recipient of the 2010-11 Euroleague Rising Star award for the best player under 23 years of age.
Cole, a 6-2, 170-pound guard, completed his collegiate career as the school leader in games played (140), consecutive starts (105), minutes played (4,114), and third in Cleveland State history in points scored (1,978). This past season, he was named Horizon League Player of the Year, as well as Defensive Player of the Year, when he posted averages of 21.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 5.3 apg and 2.20 spg. In four years with the Vikings, he played in 140 games and posted 14.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.50 spg and 29.4 mpg.
Lee, 6-5, 200 pounds, was an early-entry candidate for the 2011 NBA Draft. As a junior, he earned First Team All-Pac 10 and Pac-10 All-Defensive Team honors. On the season, he averaged 13.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg and 33.1 mpg in 33 games. He appeared in 94 games during his three-year career with the Bruins, and averaged 9.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 apg and 26.7 mpg.