Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls
Few players around the league engender as much anticipation or frustration as Nikola Mirotic.
His rookie year was a revelation as Mirotic proved to be a strong role player who spread the floor and made life easier for the Chicago Bulls. The last two years have seen him crash back down to earth, failing to live up to the reputation he built in his rookie year.
Mirotic is kind of what everyone wants him to be — potential hero or goat. And there is little room in between.
At this point, it is clear Mirotic should be coming off the bench. It is clear he is going to hoist a lot of shots. And the reality may be he is not as good a 3-point shooter as everyone once believed.
Still, for an Orlando Magic team that desperately needs shooting, Mirotic at least has to be somewhat on the radar. When it comes to shooting, reputation as a shooter can be as important for spacing as the actual ability to shoot. That helps explain Terrence Ross‘ below-average shooting percentage last year despite the Magic’s general offensive improvement.
Orlando would be signing Mirotic maybe to play some 3 but mostly to back up Aaron Gordon. His shooting would give the bench unit more space to operate. And he can go off for a big game here or there.
The real question is cost. Mirotic is a restricted free agent this summer and the Bulls are still likely to match even after adding Lauri Markkanen and dumping Jimmy Butler. And Mirotic, coming from a high-profile team, is likely to garner plenty of offers around the league.
Without a strong defensive pedigree, maybe Mirotic is not the kind of shooter the Magic would want to add.