Bulls

Contract Status Scared Many Teams Away From Mirotic

Nikola Mirotic

Real Madrid’s Nikola Mirotic, from Spain, going to the basket against Maccabi Electra’s David Blue, from Israel, right, during their Euroleague Final Four semifinal basketball game, in Barcelona, Spain.. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

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CHICAGO (WSCR) Many fans and members of the media expected the Bulls to pursue a bigger trade than the one they made during Thursday night’s NBA Draft.

“I never go the sense that they were targeting a veteran, starting shooting guard, which surprised me a little bit,” K.C. Johnson, of the Chicago Tribune, said on the Danny Mac Show.

Rudy Fernandez, acquired by the Mavericks, was one player the Bulls have been connected with, all the way back to training camp.

“Obviously the Bulls are going to be high on what they did,” Johnson said. “But from everyone I talk to within the organization, again I come back to, they slotted [Nikola] Mirotic as a lottery pick, and just, teams were scared off because of his contract status.”

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The 20-year-old Mirotic is under contract with Real Madrid until 2015, although the Bulls could negotiate a buy-out if they wanted to bring him over prior to that.

“The Bulls are in a position where they can stash a guy overseas, because they don’t want a lot of contracts on their books,” Johnson said. “They don’t need immediate help right now. So just adding the one player, opposed to three players with the three picks, they feel that that was a win in that situation.”

The Bulls traded the the 28th overall pick and their second round pick to Minnesota for the rights to the 23d pick, and as a result, Mirotic.

“They were pretty sure that Oklahoma City was going to take him at 24,” Johnson said.