The Utah Jazz are very interested in Nikola Mirotic and evidently they have competition. While you’d expect it would be from a rival NBA team, it’s not. It’s from across the pond in Barcelona. FC Barcelona is evidently trying to convince Nikola Mirotic to abandon his hoop dreams in the United States and pursue them in Spain. According to Sport, sources close to Mirotic are optimistic of his chances of heading over to Spain.
Milwaukee Bucks power forward NiKola Mirotic could be the star signing of Barça basketball for next season. As SPORT has learned, the Blaugrana club is trying to incorporate the player of Montenegrin origin (although nationalized Spanish), which last February was transferred from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Bucks.
According to sources close to the player, the Blaugrana club is talking to its representatives through Albert Soler and Nacho Rodríguez. The star of the Bucks is very optimistic about the possibility of playing next season at Barca.
Mirotic is 28 years old (he was born on February 11, 1991) and measures 2.08 meters. He was elected in the first round of the NBA Draft by Houston Rockets in 2011 in 23rd place. In 2010 he had obtained Spanish nationality and in fact he has played a total of 30 matches with the national team. He played four seasons at Real Madrid (from 2010 to 2014), until he made the jump to the NBA with the Chicago Bulls, who had previously acquired their rights.
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This could be why Utah would have to use all their cap space to obtain Mirotic because they’re competing with a team that could bring Mirotic closer to home in Montenegro.
Part of me feels like FC Barcelona is playing the role of lever in these free agency negotiations. I don’t see Mirotic leaving for Europe this early in his career just as he could have a big pay out for staying. But if Mirotic and his side are feeling like the offers they’re receiving are not high enough, they can use “leaving to Europe” to apply pressure in any negotiation to garner more money their way.
There’s a lot of money out there in this free agency and each player and their agent would be remiss to not pull as much from this year’s honey jar as possible.
BUT crazy things have already happened this free agency period. Darren Collison just today retired from the NBA at age 31 just as he was in the running for a big payday. I don’t believe Nikola Mirotic foregoes his big payday in the states for a contract with FC Barcelona, but crazier things have happened.