Nikola Mirotic
Nikola Mirotic
28-Year-Old ForwardF
Milwaukee Bucks
Out
Injury Thumb
Est. Return 4/4/2019
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.
Out 2-to-4 weeks
FMilwaukee Bucks
Thumb
March 20, 2019
Mirotic suffered a slight fracture of his left thumb and will be out two-to-four weeks, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Mirotic suffered the injury during Tuesday's win over the Lakers. Optimistically, he could be back before the playoffs, but it seems his absence could extend into the first round. Since joining Milwaukee, he's seen 22.9 minutes per contest, and coach Mike Budenholzer may opt to replace Mirotic's workload with the likes of Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson.
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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
Scores 23 points in 24 minutes
FMilwaukee Bucks
March 19, 2019
Mirotic turned in 23 points (8-14 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 4-5 FT), six rebounds, and one assist in 24 minutes during Tuesday's 115-101 win over the Lakers.
ANALYSIS
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Quiet in Sunday's start
FMilwaukee Bucks
March 17, 2019
Mirotic managed two points (1-7 FG, 0-6 3Pt), four rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 24 minutes during Sunday's 130-125 loss to the 76ers.
ANALYSIS
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Will start Sunday
FMilwaukee Bucks
March 17, 2019
Mirotic will start Sunday's game against the 76ers, Malika Andrews of ESPN.com reports.
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Nice bounce back game Saturday
FMilwaukee Bucks
March 10, 2019
Mirotic totaled 18 points (6-10 FG, 5-7 3Pt, 1-2 FT), six rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 25 minutes during Saturday's 131-114 victory over the Hornets.
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Terrible in spot start
FMilwaukee Bucks
March 3, 2019
Mirotic ended with just three points to go with six rebounds, one assist, and one steal in 27 minutes during Saturday's 115-111 loss to the Jazz.
ANALYSIS
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