Should the Pacers decide they need more length in their lineup, Nikola Mirotic would be a great fit to pad the scoring threat and space the floor. The 6’10” forward was traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Milwaukee Bucks midway through the regular season, and could be on his way to his first NBA Finals.
The outcome of this year’s Finals, however, will determine a lot for the Bucks’ future, seeing as how they too have a lineup riddled with players in contract years. Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon and Brook Lopez, who’ve all been with the team much longer than Mirotic, may get first considerations when it comes to contract extensions.
It’s been hard to measure Mirotic’s impact on this surging Bucks team this year. He averaged 11.6 points in 22.9 minutes per contest during his 14 regular season games in Milwaukee. It’s not that he’s easily replaceable as a stretch-forward, but Milwaukee will likely look at other, more durable forwards on the market if it can’t get the job done against Golden State. That’s where Indiana comes in.
The Pacers can offer him a contract similar to what he made in 2018-19 — around $12-14 million a year — and could arguably get him more involved in an offense that isn’t centered around an MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Like Curry, Mirotic would have to adapt to the Pacers’ and head coach Nate McMillan‘s defensive schemes to truly be successful.
Seeing how well he meshed with Milwaukee’s defense, he could be a seamless fit that adds another streaky scorer to Indiana’s offensively lacking lineup. Making sure he stays healthy will also be part of the risk that hopefully comes with the reward of signing him.
Mirotic is one of the more affordable scoring options at forward not named Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard or Jimmy Butler. If they can manage to hold onto Bojan Bogdanovic, the Indiana Pacers will have two versatile international talents to rely on from the perimeter.