Mirotic swiftly follows Gasol as Bulls front-court looking formidable.
Despite failing to convince Carmelo Anthony to leave the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls have made significant moves this summer to strengthen their roster.
While the franchise is confident that point guard Derrick Rose will make a full recovery from a second serious knee injury in the space of two years, the Bulls have also added both Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic to the roster to form a formidable front-court.
With both men delivering the news on Twitter, Chicago fans were delighted with the double European acquisition as it undoubtedly settles any frustration over failing to land Anthony.
The 30-year-old was seen as an ideal piece for the Bulls given that his scoring would compliment the team’s defensive solidity, but ultimately coach Tom Thibodeau will have production and additional defensive skill at his disposal next season which makes the Bulls a genuine contender.
While Gasol is proven at this level after winning two championships during his successful spell with the Los Angeles Lakers, Mirotic will be entering his first season in the NBA, but the former Real Madrid man has undoubtedly demonstrated his ability in Europe.
The 23-year-old was acquired by the Bulls in a draft-day deal in 2011 from the Houston Rockets, and while the three-year wait has been frustrating, his talent is undeniable and it is an exciting time for the Bulls who have maintained their depth as opposed to sacrificing pieces to land Anthony.
Chicago are still expected to use the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer, but elsewhere they also signed veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich to a new deal but ultimately their recent moves may mean that fan-favourite D.J. Augustin will move elsewhere this summer.
Nevertheless, with Gasol potentially acting as Mirotic’s mentor in his opening year in the league, the latter’s ability to space the floor and shoot from beyond the arc will add another strength to this team that has been lacking over the past year or two.
If Rose can remain healthy, the Bulls will again target a run at a championship, and with Tony Snell and Doug McDermott impressing in the Summer League thus far, there are some promising signs for the future.
Add that to the continued development of Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson alongside the leadership and brilliance of Joakim Noah, missing out on Anthony may well turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the men in the Windy City.