GM Forman ‘Confident’ Mirotic Will Come To Bulls — Eventually
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By Cody Westerlund-
(CBS) In a media session the day after his team’s season ended, Bulls general manger Gar Forman turned an eye to the future, saying he’s “confident” that Real Madrid star Nikola Mirotic — the 6-foot-10 forward whom the Bulls have exclusive rights to — will make the move to the NBA but that’s he’s just not certain when that may be.
“We don’t know,” Forman said. “He’s still under contract with Real Madrid. We feel confident that he’s going to come at some point. Whether it’s this summer or the following summer or somewhere into the future, we still don’t know. We haven’t gotten to a point where there’s any type of negotiation yet, though we have built a relationship and been over there and seen him.
“We’re not sure when he’ll come.”
On the pertinent topic of whether the Bulls will use the amnesty provision on forward Carlos Boozer, Forman said, “We’ll have to evaluate — if it’s something that makes sense as far as getting our team stronger, we may go that way.”
If the Bulls were to amnesty Boozer, they’d still be responsible for his $16.8 million payday next season, but it wouldn’t count against their salary cap.
“We have valued Carlos, and I think Carlos has been a big part of our success the last four years,” Forman said.
Asked what the needs are for the Bulls in the offseason, Forman didn’t address any specifics but did say he wanted a deeper roster and that the front office has struggled to give coach Tom Thibodeau just that in the recent past.
“We need to continue to just build our roster,” Forman said. “And I think we want to have a full roster, a complete roster. That’s something that under the new CBA we’ve struggled with a little because of the salary structures, and I think it’s something we’ll be able to address now into the offseason. If we can get our team deeper and have more depth across the board, I think it’s going to help us.
“We believe, and you’ve heard me talk about it before, that the core of this team really has the chance to do something special moving forward. It’s up to each and every one of us, from the players to the front office to the coaching staff and everybody involved in our organization here now to try and improve and make the next step.”
“Now how do we get to the next level? And that’s where all of us need to continue to get better. We’ve got a big summer ahead of us, and we may have the opportunity to have some flexibility and address some needs.”
Forman also didn’t rule out the possibility that the Bulls could bring back both Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin, who will be free agents. It may seem unlikely, but with flexibility in the picture, the Bulls could have options.
Forman said the team’s “hopeful” it will be in a position to bring Augustin back, but his solid play could price Chicago out of the picture.
“He’s been a fit,” Forman said of Augustin.
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.