I wholeheartedly agree, and that’s why the Bulls would be crazy to part with the Montengrin power forward in a trade for Pau Gasol, or almost anyone else.
The three-team deal that’s been batted around would make Gasol an ex-Laker and the newest Bull, reunite Ryan Anderson with Dwight Howard in Los Angeles and send a package – likely Taj Gibson and first round picks – to the Hornets.
The likely snag here is that New Orleans reportedly is telling potential suitors that the 24-year-old Anderson is untouchable. Bulls GM Gar Forman should beat back potential trade partners with the same level of conviction should they ask about the 21-year-old Mirotic.
Given that I cover international basketball for Sheridan Hoops and run a site with the word Euroleague in the title, might I be biased toward the 6-10, 220-pound Mirotic?
Yes. But Mirotic will be an All-Star if and when he decides to come stateside, and it’s not like Gasol is from Detroit.
Pau played for Barcelona from 1998 until 2001, when Atlanta drafted him third overall and sent his rights to Memphis (with Brevin Knight and the late Lorenzen Wright) for Shareef Abdur-Rahim, now an assistant with the Sacramento Kings.
Since the trade, Gasol has been an All-Star four times, won a FIBA World Championship with Spain in 2006, Olympic silver medals in 2008 and 2012, back-to-back European Championships in 2009 and 2011 and two NBA championship rings with the Lakers.
When Gasol hangs it up, he belongs in Springfield as an international contributor at the very least, next to the likes of Lithuania’s Arvydas Sabonis or Croatia’s Drazen Petrovic.
But for all that Gasol has accomplished, there are reasons why teams like Atlanta and Houston have reportedly pulled out of the Pau race and why the Lakers have been shopping him for over a year now.