Former Milwaukee Bucks forward Nikola Mirotic is reportedly walking away from the NBA to play for Barcelona in the Euroleague. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Mirotic is leaving a contract in the $45-50 million range on the table.
Nikola Mirotic Leaves NBA for Barcelona
The move comes as a surprise, as Mirotic was expected to garner plenty of attention during free agency. He would have been one of the top free agents at his position this offseason.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 29, 2019
Mirotic had a solid year, despite switching teams during the season. He started the season with the New Orleans Pelicans before ending up on the Bucks before the trade deadline. He was a big part of the Milwaukee offense, knocking down 35.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. For the Bucks, Mirotic put up 11.6 points per game to go along with 5.4 rebounds. Including his time in New Orleans, he averaged 15.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during the 2018-19 season.
The Spanish-born forward started his NBA journey with the Chicago Bulls, garnering a bit of fame thanks to an altercation with teammate Bobby Portis. Despite both players going on to have solid seasons, neither remained with the team long-term. The Bulls traded Mirotic to the Pelicans in 2018, and then the Pelicans dished him to Milwaukee in 2019. Despite playing well at every stop, Mirotic became an NBA journeyman.
Now, that journey has been put on hold as Mirotic starts a new chapter in his young career.
Mirotic is no stranger to the Euroleague, though, as he spent time with Real Madrid before making his NBA debut in 2015. He started his basketball career with Real Madrid’s U18 team in 2007 and stayed with the organization until 2014. He averaged 10.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game over his five-year career, appearing in 97 games.
It is unknown at this time why Mirotic made the move, but his basketball career continues on.
Mirotic’s contract with Barcelona is reportedly worth roughly $79.8 million over 6 years, according to Neil Johnson of ESPN analytics.