Author: Kurt Helin


Report: Bulls reach three-year, $17 million deal to bring Nikola Mirotic over


Nikola Mirotic is one of Europe’s best big men, a star at Real Madrid that Bulls fans have been drooling over from a distance.

Next year they will see what he’s got in person.

As expected he is coming over next season and the Bulls have reached a deal with him, first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Nikola Mirotic – considered the best player in European basketball – has reached agreement on a three-year, $17 million contract with the Chicago Bulls, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Mirotic, a 6-foot-10 forward, was the Spanish League MVP in the 2013 season and brings a well-regarded offensive game to Chicago.

Mirotic himself confirmed it.

Mirotic joins an impressive front line — Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol will start, now they can bring Taj Gibson and Mirotic off the bench.

DraftExpress has a nice scouting report up. Mirotic is a 6’10” power forward who is a pure shooter — he shot 46 percent from three last season and is a fantastic pick-and-pop partner. He moves well for a big man, although coming to the NBA will have him going against the kind of athletes he’s not used to seeing and that will be an adjustment. He can score in a variety of ways and he’s a solid defender. The question isn’t the skill set, just how he adjusts to the NBA game and athleticism (ask Tiago Splitter, another star in Europe, how that takes a little time). Having Gasol there to talk to in Chicago will help that adjustment.

That said, this is a quality signing for the Bulls at a fair price — and he steps right onto one of the best teams in the East and into an impressive front line rotation.

Report: Houston Rockets will not match Mavericks’ Chandler Parsons’ offer, he’s Dallas bound

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets

The Dallas Mavericks gambit paid off.

They signed Chandler Parsons to an offer sheet as soon as they could (in a bar after midnight, apparently) to put pressure on a Rockets team at the time still waiting on the LeBron James/Chris Bosh saga to play out. When everything shook out Houston was left without a third star.

However, getting that third star is their goal so they will not match the offer for Parsons, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Houston Rockets declined to match a three-year, $46 million offer sheet for restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, clearing the way for him to join the Dallas Mavericks, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

Houston ultimately decided the contract would be too crippling for the franchise’s cap flexibility and make it more difficult to construct a championship roster around Dwight Howard and James Harden. Houston is executing a sign-and-trade agreement with Washington as part of its four year, $32 million deal with free agent forward Trevor Ariza, a league sources said.

Parsons tweeted that the Rockets told him what was happening.

The structure of Parsons’ deal was going to tie the hands of the Rockets going forward, something GM Daryl Morey did not want. Dallas, with Dirk Nowitzki, is all about winning right now. Without Bosh the Rockets still see themselves as constructing the core of their roster.

Dallas now has a very interesting and dangerous roster — Monta Ellis at the two, Parsons at the three, Nowitzki at the four and Tyson Chandler at the five. There are questions about Raymond Felton at the point and if he can bounce back after an ugly season with the Knicks (the solid Devin Harris backs him up) and the Mavs depth with Vince Carter bound for Memphis. Still, this is an improved Mavs team (one that already took the Spurs to seven games).

However, this likely means the end of Shawn Marion in Dallas.

For Houston… this has been a rough offseason. This is still a good team with James Harden and Dwight Howard and nice players around them like Patrick Beverly and Terrence Jones, not to mention the just-signed Ariza. They didn’t land the stars they wanted, but it’s better for them to be patient and get the guys they want than to overspend on others. Patience can be good.

But Parsons will be missed.

Report: Kevin Garnett coming back to Nets next season despite Pierce departure


If one were cynical, one could say that there are 12 million reasons Kevin Garnett might return to a Brooklyn Nets team without Paul Pierce.

But do you really think KG does things just for the money?

Whatever you think his reasoning, Chris Broussard reports he is coming back to the Nets for one more season, even without Paul Pierce (who is a Wizard now).

Direction? You mean no longer spending wildly and without concern for fit?

There is still a nice roster in Brooklyn: Deron Williams and Joe Johnson in the backcourt, Brook Popez and Kevin Garnett up front, guys in the rotation such as Jarrett Jack, Andrei Kirilenko and Mason Plumlee.

In a wide open Eastern Conference, that’s a lineup that can do some damage, especially with Lionel Hollins at the helm.

If they can just stay healthy.

Report: Marvin Williams joins Charlotte on two-year deal

Marvin Williams

Charlotte made their gambit in throwing a max offer sheet at Gordon Hayward, but as they promised they would Utah matched it.

Charlotte turned to Plan B almost immediately: Marvin Williams.

The Hornets quickly got their man with a two-year, $14 million deal first reported by Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

Multiple outlets confirmed this, just waiting on word from the Hornets themselves.

My first thought is that price is a little steep, but it is a short deal in the ballpark of what he has made the past five NBA seasons.

Williams, the former No. 2 pick back in 2005, has incredible physical tools but only seems to put them to use occasionally. Utah shifted how Williams was used from a three to a stretch four — last season 44.5 percent of his shot attempts were threes and he hit 38 percent of them. Utah, however, is very deep along the front line and were not going to spend near that much to keep Williams.

Charlotte can use Williams as a stretch four also (replacing Josh McRoberts, now in Miami), with Al Jefferson in the paint and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the three. He will split time with Cody Zeller (who brings a tougher, more physical style of play) while the Hornets wait for rookie Noah Vonleh to develop into their four of the future.

Reports: Luol Deng agrees to two years, $20 million deal with Miami

Cleveland Cavaliers v Dallas Mavericks

Miami isn’t going to be the title contenders they were last season, but they are going to be good. And interesting.

Luol Deng, who had been negotiating with Heat for days but was trying to leverage discussions from Atlanta and Dallas into more, has settled on a deal with Miami, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

After losing LeBron James, the Miami Heat have reached agreement with free-agent forward Luol Deng on a two-year, $20 million contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Deng will likely hold a player option on the 2015-16 season, a source said.

Remember that Deng reportedly turned down a three-year, $30 million extension with the Bulls.

You certainly can’t say Miami has had a good offseason, but Pat Riley has bounced back about as well as can be expected.

The Heat will roll out a starting five of Norris Cole/Shabazz Napier, Dwyane Wade (he will re-sign), Deng, Josh McRoberts, and an overpaid but effective Chris Bosh. That’s a playoff team and a tough out in the first round at least in Miami.

Deng is a strong defender who can get you points as the roll man or cutting off the ball. As a third scoring option he can work.