Ask a European basketball fan who the best NBA prospect in their league is, and almost certainly they will answer with Nikola Mirotic. He has been dominating the Euroleague playing for Real Madrid where he won two separate Euroleague rising star awards, been named to the all spanish ACB league twice, been all Euroleague second team twice, and is still only 23.
Mirotic was drafted with the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 draft and subsequently traded by Minnesota Timberwolves to the Bulls on draft night. Not many NBA fans outside of Chicago will recognize his name, but they will by seasons end. He has been lauded as the best prospect since Dirk Nowitzki, and although he probably will not end up with as storied of a career, with the right work ethic he can be as well known.
Mirotic is a prototypical stretch four; he can shoot from anywhere on the floor, and has a polished offensive game in the post. His offense will be a much needed spark off the bench, for a Bulls team that lacked any semblance of one last season.
Gasol making plays already
A big factor in finally bringing Mirotic over was the imminent signing of fellow Spaniard Pau Gasol. Although Mirotic was born in Montenegro, he is now a Spanish citizen and has met Pau through international play.
It would be hard to turn down the opportunity to learn from a respected veteran big man such as Gasol. It was not only Pau that brought Mirotic in, but also Mirotic that brought Pau, for similar reasons as mentioned before. Pau could not turn down the opportunity to mold a young player with so much talent.
Both Spanish big men, Gasol and Mirotic, or the Twin Toros, will be announced by the Chicago Bulls in a press conference Friday morning.