Initial Reactions to Mirotic

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Published: February 5, 2018

“Initial thoughts on Mirotic, including if he seems worth the price? What do you need to see going forward to feel good through the end of the deal?”

42: Mirotic’s energy and decision-making were what jumped out at me. That’s quite a statement given his performance, but I’m also trying to put the horse before the cart here. The actual salary seems right for him, especially if he can help keep the Boogie-Brow system intact when one sits. He seems a decent defender and that may be enhanced here if he can handle the switching. I also think he’s worth a mid-or-late-mid-first-rounder, especially when it comes with converting some dead salary into live salary and allowing the acquisition of a low-level journeyman who fits, like Liggins (which the deal did). To really feel good, I need to see that energy keep up and his defense to lock in, as I have no reason to doubt his skills and fit in New Orleans. I’ll also need to see him work-and-play well with Davis this season, then Cousins next. At this point, I’m not pessimistic about the outcome, but I do want to see it happen. If this energy become contagious, he’s a bargain.

Kumar: Mirotic is worth the price and then some. I don’t need to see anything further to feel good about the deal, I feel pretty darn great already. We moved a largely unplayable player and bloated contract for a player who is not only playable, but actually quite good. I was extremely impressed by two thing’s in particular – Mirotic’s movement and his defense. Mirotic moves better than any player I have seen on this roster. For starters, the ball does not stick. If he isn’t shooting, he is moving the ball in an effective and creative manner. After he moves the ball, Mirotic moves himself. Just watch a possession, see how many times he throws and goes. See how many times he is just looking for random people to screen to pop open. Never a dull moment with him. On the other side of the ball, I was very impressed with his on the ball defense. He got same great steals, was in good position to help often, and helped bang with the physical bigs of Minnesota. I’m excited to watch his development on this team where he should have even more of a green light, especially as he picks up the system. At the end of the day, he just tries hard. Hopefully that continues. Mirotic is a breath of fresh air.

Michael Pellissier: I don’t have any doubt he was worth the price — I was pushing for Mirotic as far back as early November for a specific reason: he fits next to both Davis and Boogie. He’s a volume 3-point shooter who can playmake as well. In his first game with us, I was very pleased with his off-ball movement. He probably knew little-to-nothing of the playbook and set some excellent off-ball screens for other shooters. All I care about is that he keeps moving without the ball, because AD-Ryno lineups were incredible on offense and I expect similar things from AD-Niko. I thought he had some excellent defensive possessions on Butler and anything he can add on defense will make him well worth the price.

Dru: He’s absolutely worth the price, although we will all miss Omer’s beautiful reverse layups, Jameer’s foot on the line 3’s, and Tony Allen’s awesome attitude. His debut was great, he had a very good game all around. His passing and energy on defense surprised me and I just want to see him continue to be an all around player. It’s easy for a team that can take a guy that is a good shooter and only designate him to that role. I want to see Niko and the Pels allow him to show off his full skill set, that means guys start cutting so we can keep on seeing these sweet Niko passes.

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