Nikola Mirotic
Nikola Mirotic
28-Year-Old ForwardF
Milwaukee Bucks
2018 Fantasy Outlook
After missing a chunk of time at the start of the season stemming from an altercation with then-Bulls teammate Bobby Portis, Mirotic was eventually dealt to New Orleans, where he flourished as the de facto replacement for DeMarcus Cousins, who was lost to a torn Achilles in January. Mirotic has shown plenty of Fantasy promise over the last few seasons, but whether due to mismanagement or inconsistent play, he was always somewhat of a letdown in Chicago. Cousins' injury meant the Pelicans were on the lookout for another big with the ability to stretch the floor. Mirotic slotted in nicely, and across his 30 games for the Pelicans, he put up averages of 14.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.0 steal, 0.9 blocks and 2.2 three-pointers per game. The defensive numbers were especially impressive, and the hope is that production becomes the norm, rather than a half-season anomaly. The arrival of Julius Randle could hurt Mirotic's value a bit, and he'll likely be stuck in a bench role moving forward. However, he still projects to be a major factor in the rotation and will end up playing alongside Randle in certain alignments. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $12.5 million contract with the Bulls in September of 2017. Traded to the Pelicans in January of 2018. Pelicans exercised $12.5 million team option for 2018-19 in February of 2018. Traded to the Bucks in February of 2019.
Plays limited minutes in return
FMilwaukee Bucks
April 15, 2019
Mirotic (thumb) played 15 minutes off the bench in Sunday's 121-86 win over the Pistons in Game 1 of the series, contributing four points (2-8 FG, 0-5 3Pt) and one assist.
ANALYSIS
As anticipated, the Bucks capped Mirotic's playing time in his return to action from the thumb injury that cost him the final 11 games of the regular-season. While it may take a few games for Mirotic to get back to optimal condition, his availability for the postseason should be a major boon for a Bucks squad that loves to surround playmaker Giannis Antetokounmpo with shooters at the other four spots. Unsurprisingly, Mirotic looked a little rusty after the month-long layoff, as he failed to convert from the outside and committed four turnovers in the contest.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2016
2015
2014
After an up-and-down rookie campaign, it was much of the same for Mirotic in his second season. The Serbian forward averaged 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, but knocked down only 40.7 percent of his field-goal attempts. Mirotic was also limited to 66 games, as an emergency appendectomy sidelined him from late January to early March. On a more positive note, Mirotic took a major leap as a three-point shooter, converting 39 percent of his 4.0 attempts per game, up from an ugly 31.6 percent mark in 2014-15. The Bulls made a number of high-profile changes this offseason, but Mirotic is expected to return in a similar role to the one he held in 2015-16. He'll battle with Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis for minutes at power forward, but could see less time on the wing after the Bulls added Dwyane Wade in the offseason. The move is expected to push Jimmy Butler into more minutes at small forward, where emerging third-year wing Doug McDermott will also command consistent time at that position. While Gibson is the favorite to start at power forward by virtue of being the incumbent, his upside is limited at this point in his career, and the Bulls will likely need Mirotic's spacing ability, especially when Butler, Wade and Rajon Rondo are on the floor together. That could equate to a slight bump in minutes for Mirotic, but Chicago's considerable depth at the forward spots will likely cap his value to that of the middle rounds of most drafts.
Mirotic played in all 82 games for the Bulls in his rookie season and averaged 10.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.2 three-pointers in 20 minutes per game. His percentages were solid as well as he shot 50 percent from the field, 80 percent from the charity stripe, and 32 percent from behind the arc. Although he had periods where he struggled like most rookies do, Mirotic also carried the team on his back for a stretch when some key players were injured. Mirotic has a ton of talent, and his skill set is in the mold of the stretch four that most teams are looking for. There is still room for improvement on the defensive end, but his offensive skills are unquestioned. New coach Fred Hoiberg is expected to run a more up-tempo offense this season, which could fit right into Mirotic's wheelhouse. There is also a chance that Mirotic could work his way into the starting lineup as Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah struggled on the court together at times last season. The Bulls are very deep up front, but Mirotic could be working his way into a significant role.
The Bulls have been patiently waiting for Mirotic to come over from Real Madrid since they received his draft rights back in 2011, and now they'll be able to see what the former Euroleague MVP can do against better competition. Mirotic averaged 12.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 24 minutes per game last season. The 23-year-old is the epitome of a stretch four, with the length and lights-out shooting ability that could take him far in the NBA. He shot a staggering 46 percent from deep last season for Real Madrid, which is impressive despite the shortened perimeter. Mirotic has also been described as deceptively athletic for his size, so even if his defensive chops aren't up to standard, coach Tom Thibodeau at least has the clay to mold his newest stopper. The question that lingers is playing time. With the addition of Pau Gasol, the Bulls' frontcourt is crowded. However, so long as Mirotic can adjust to the pace of the NBA - and he lives up to his billing - he should have no problem carving out a spot in the rotation. Mirotic needs to work on adding more strength to avoid getting pushed around in the paint, but by all accounts, he still fights hard for rebounds and space on both ends of the floor. There's really no way to tell how his game will translate until he hits the court, but the potential is certainly fascinating.
More Fantasy News
To be monitored closely
FMilwaukee Bucks
April 14, 2019
Mirotic will be on a minutes restriction for Game 1 against the Pistons on Sunday, Malika Andrews of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not on injury report
FMilwaukee Bucks
Thumb
April 14, 2019
Mirotic (thumb) isn't listed on the injury report for Sunday's playoff matchup against Detroit.
ANALYSIS
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Expects to play Sunday
FMilwaukee Bucks
Thumb
April 13, 2019
Mirotic expects to play in Sunday's game against Detroit, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
ANALYSIS
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Goes through full practice
FMilwaukee Bucks
Thumb
April 12, 2019
Mirotic (thumb) went through his first full practice Friday since injuring his finger, and he may be available for Sunday's Game 1 against the Pistons, Malika Andrews of ESPN.com reports.
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Hopeful for Game 1
FMilwaukee Bucks
Thumb
April 10, 2019
The Bucks are hoping to get Mirotic (thumb) back for Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs, Malika Andrews of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
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