zach randolph wasn’t ready for this.
First the kid popped to the top of the circle, the long spot for an nba three, and effortlessly swished one. Then zach went into the post and started backing him down with his big weight advantage. But the kid came around, poked the ball away and started a fast break. Zach tried again, but the kid moved his feet well and zach settled for a fadeaway. Then the kid missed a three with zach running at him. No one got back to help, leaving zach running out with a fast break pass. The kid turned and hustled back to head off zach and send the grizzlies back into a half court offense.
“i was just asking marc (gasol) about him,” randolph was saying after the game when i caught up with him in the grizzlies locker room in a sort of a butch and sundance “who was that guy?” tone.
“i like him,” randolph said. “i told marc he can shoot the ball. I was asking how old he was. He’s just 21. The kid’s got a real upside. He can play in the nba.”“i was really happy when the chicago bulls picked me,” nikola mirotic said through a translator late saturday night as his real madrid team lost to the grizzlies 105-93 with mirotic getting 14 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes. “it is a club with a great history. After i was drafted, i have been following them more. They have a great player, derrick rose, one of the best players in the nba, and maybe in the future i will have an opportunity to share a locker room with him.”
the real deal plays for real madrid.
I’ve seen the european players come to the nba for almost 30 years back to georgi glouchkov and the first of the best ones, sarunas marciulionis.
This kid looks like he really can be one of the best.i know everyone wants to compare great u.s. Players to michael jordan and great europeans to dirk nowitzki. But this kid does have nowitzki kind of skills. Even his coach, pabio laso, when i asked him if mirotic compares, say, to someone like peja stojakovic because of his great shooting range and face up game, laso said no, that mirotic is more like nowitzki.
“comparing him with the nba, maybe he is most similar kind of player to nowitzki,” said laso. “he plays four, open to the basket, can shoot outside, put it on the floor. More nowitzki than other europeans that have come to the nba. He has to work more inside. He has a good basketball head. He wants to get better and he shows that every day. He’s very important to us now.”Part 1...when mirotic was drafted by the bulls in 2011 he simultaneously signed a five-year contract with real madrid. Given he came to play in spain as a 14-year-old in a sort subsidy arrangement, it was time for him to make money. But his intentions were clear putting his name in the nba draft at that time. He apparently was looking toward the nba.
Realistically, he probably will play for real madrid through at least the 2013-14 season. Bulls executives john paxson, gar forman and ivica dukan were traveling to watch mirotic with real madrid in memphis and toronto on this trip. But it’s doubtful they have any more notion of mirotic’s intentions. They declined comment.
Under nba rules, since he was a low first round draft pick, mirotic would be limited to that salary slot, which is far below his real madrid salary, for three years. After that, the bulls could pay mirotic if they are under the salary cap or with an exception. Since mirotic is under contract with real madrid, there is a substantial penalty if he leaves early. But once a european club realizes a player wants to come to the nba, they tend to negotiate. Once mirotic is free of the three-year nba salary slot, he theoretically could pay for a substantial buyout and still make money. Before three years he could not as nba teams can contribute just $300,000 to buyouts.