For Chicago Bulls Fans

Was Nicola Mirotic offered $45 million, Carmelo, LeBron and other musings

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to The Shootaround on BullsHype!

In this edition, we’re discussing Nicola Mirotic and his supposed offer from the Chicago Bulls, whether the Bulls finally have the right management-coaching combination, Carmelo Anthony and his bid for a farewell season and the ridiculousness about LeBron James showing too much emotion while celebrating his kid. Let’s jump in ~

Did Nikola Mirotic really receive a $45 million offer from the Chicago Bulls?

This summer, former Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic surprised the NBA world when he left the association to return to his roots in Europe. He apparently left at least one lucrative contract offer on the table when he signed with FC Barcelona. Barcelona head coach Svetislav Pesic told a TV show “In the Hoop” that Mirotic turned down a $45 million offer from, you guessed it, the Chicago Bulls. This just seems so unlikely, considering the end of Mirotic’s run in Chicago.

I won’t rehash it here, but let’s just say his last season well, it didn’t end well. Maybe John Paxson felt that with Bobby Portis gone, the Bulls could bring Mirotic back safely, but it just seems hard to believe. Besides, Mirotic was mostly a disappointment during his tenure in Chicago, making a reunion hard to fathom.

In four seasons in Chicago, the 6’10” Montenegrin shot 41.8 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from 3-point range. The streaky shooter averaged 11.4 points in 243 career games. Let’s theorize that Pesic was trying to talk up his prized signing. The Chicago Bulls couldn’t have been silly enough to attempt a second run with Mirotic, right?

Do the Bulls finally have the right coach-management combination?

It’s that time of the summer when it’s mostly quiet and there is plenty of time to daydream about random NBA things. Today’s musings center around the John PaxsonJim Boylen combination and whether the Bulls finally have a winning combination. Criticism of the Bulls front office has become almost boring, with a segment of the fanbase becoming rightly jaded.,

With that said, let’s be objective. Sure, Paxson has been around to hire (and fire) a bunch of coaches – didn’t he hire Scott Skiles? He may have tried to choke Vinny Del Negro and he most definitely did not get along with Tom Thibodeau. Fred Hoiberg was not the right guy for the roster he inherited and now here we are with Boylen.

Chicago has a nice young core in place, headlined by Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Zach LaVine. There signs, albeit brief, that the tough early days of the Boylen-era actually may have paid dividends toward the end of the season. LaVine even offered to pay Boylen’s fine for his ejection versus the Sacramento Kings.

This summer, Paxson handed his head coach more toys with Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky, Coby White and Luke Kornet. They’re weak on the wings, but perhaps Boylen can coax Chandler Hutchison into knocking down some outside shots and Denzel Valentine could stay healthy all season.

All this to say, Paxson has fewer excuses this time around (or actually none at all). There aren’t any major injuries to blame failures on, there shouldn’t be any arguments about playing starters too much and Paxson roster is, well, his roster. He can’t blame Boylen and his coaching staff for any shortcomings this season.

Should Carmelo get his farewell tour?

Hey, Carmelo Anthony is a former Chicago Bull right? Listen, it’s a bummer to see a Hall of Fame career like Anthony’s fall off the cliff the way it has. Now his trainer is stumping for Carmelo to get back in the league this season and experience a “farewell season” a la Dwyane Wade.

I’m all for guys getting all the praise and rewards due them, but Anthony is a difficult case. It’s Carmelo that has kept Carmelo out of the NBA, not the league keeping Carmelo out. He’s the one that has had difficulty adjusting to Father Time slowing down his game. He’s been mostly unsuccessful attempting to become an off-the-ball scorer and spot-up jump shooter. That’s just never been his game and it’s not all that surprising he’s struggled.

It would be fun to see Carmelo get another shot in the league, get what he’s due and leave the NBA on his terms. If Vince Carter can still do it into his 40’s, it seems like there’s a place for Anthony. It just seems unlikely unless he’s willing to adapt to reality.

Why are we mad at LeBron again?

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t always love watching LeBron James play. I’m just not a huge fan of the theatrics that comes with the no-calls and such. That said, he’s an all-time great, maybe not the GOAT, that title belongs to someone else, but he’s a legend. He’s also great in his community, from all accounts a good husband and an even better father.

So why are we making something out of nothing? We’re now supposed to be annoyed or mad because LeBron was being goofy while celebrating a great play by his son, Bronny James? Really?

At this point, LeBron is truly damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. If he’s off making business deals, commercials and movies as a side gig to his NBA career, then he’s not an attentive father and not present. Yet, if he’s on the sidelines, hamming it up with his buddies and celebrating great achievements, he’s doing too much?

Maybe, and it’s a solid maybe because I don’t know LeBron, but maybe he was legitimately excited to see his own son making highlight level plays. Could it have been that, as a kid who grew up in poverty in Akron, Ohio without a father, maybe he’s just letting his kids know that he’s there, he sees them and he’s there to celebrate them? Perhaps he just wants his kids to know that their success is more important and more exciting than his own. Possibly it’s just that he never wants his kids to never have any hint of what it feels like to have unbelievable success without the approval of a loving father.

Maybe we should pull back the reins a bit and do some self-evaluation before we criticize another man’s enthusiasm for his kid’s accomplishments.

That’s it for now, thanks for hanging out on The Shootaround!

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