Mirotic is coming off a relatively mediocre third year with the Bulls, where he averaged 10.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.8 three-pointers across 24.0 minutes. Largely known for his ability to hit the deep ball as a floor-spacing power forward, Mirotic actually saw his three-point percentage dip from 39 percent to 34.2 percent this past season. While the Bulls opted to bring Mirotic back, he'll actually have even more competition for playing time following the addition of first-round pick Lauri Markkanen. The two big men are both expected to compete for a spot in the starting lineup, though Mirotic's experience could ultimately help his cause. Still, it will be a situation to monitor throughout camp.
Before worrying about Markkanen, Mirotic heads into the offseason as a restricted free agent, which means it's not entirely certain he'll remain in Chicago next season. If he does stay, though, Markkanen has a very similar skill set, and funny enough, very similar weak spots. Both players are able to extend the court beyond the arc as a power forward, but they also aren't reliable rebounders for their size and have serious questions on the defensive end. After three lackluster years from Mirotic in Chicago with the Bulls, the organization might be quick to pass the torch over to the younger stretch four while leaving Mirotic outside of the rotation.
Mirotic scored 22 points (8-11 FG, 6-8 3Pt) and added eight rebounds, two assists and one block in 25 minutes during Thursday's 102-90 win over the 76ers.
This was the third time Mirotic has made six threes in a game this season. He has made at least one three in all 13 contests since he recorded three straight DNP-CDs in early March. While his play since returning has remained inconsistent, he has improved his season averages in points, rebounds, threes, assists, field goal percentage, and free throw percentage.
Mirotic posted 21 points (7-15 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 5-5 FT) and 10 rebounds across 36 minutes during Tuesday's 100-91 loss to the Kicks.
Mirotic did not exactly stuff the stat sheet, but he was quite good on the boards, leading the team, and finished second to Jimmy Butler in scoring. He scored just 16 combined points in his previous two games, but Mirotic has been effective over the larger sample which shows him scoring 21 points or more four times since Mar. 22.
Mirotic submitted 28 points (9-14 FG, 6-11 3Pt, 4-4 FT), 10 rebounds, one assist and one block across 38 minutes in a 99-93 win over the Cavaliers on Thursday.
Coach Fred Hoiberg's decision to drop Mirotic from his rotation for three straight games earlier in March has lit a fire under the third-year big man, who has responded with his best stretch of production since entering the NBA. Over his last nine outings, Mirotic is averaging 18.3 points (on 52.7% shooting), 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 three-pointers and 1.4 assists in 30.1 minutes per game, including 28-point efforts in the three of his past four contests. While it looked like Mirotic would be stuck in a timeshare with Bobby Portis at power forward after Taj Gibson was dealt to the Thunder at the trade deadline, Mirotic's outstanding performance has earned him a starting role and the lion's share of the minutes at the position. Mirotic is worth keeping active in every league as the Bulls look to him to provide supplementary scoring behind Jimmy Butler in the continued absence of Dwyane Wade (elbow).
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