Chicago Bulls: Is Nikola Mirotic the Next Toni Kukoc?


One of the burning questions for the Chicago Bulls this season rests on new addition Nikola Mirotic.  Can he match the outstanding success of Toni Kukoc?  Well, that is a hard question to answer so below will be a comparison of the two based on stats when they entered the league.  Then a couple of videos will illustrate what Kukoc brought to the Bulls during his memorable run with then back in the ’90s.

Stats During Final Euroleague Season:

Kukoc (Benetton Treviso) – 21.0 points, 5 assists, 2.11 steals per game

Mirotic (Real Madrid) – 12.4 points, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steal, 4.4 rebounds per game

Stats During NBA Rookie Season:

Kukoc (1993-1994) – 10.9 points, 3.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 4.0 rebounds per game

Mirotic (2014-2015) – ?

It’s important to remember that Kukoc was two years older than Mirotic when he joined the NBA in 1993.  That is a considerable difference.  He was more seasoned and also had experience in the Olympics, something the Spanish native has yet to venture into.  So judging based solely on stats isn’t wise.  Not this early in the game.  However, if Mirotic is ever going to be like Kukoc, he’ll have to come with plays like this.

Or this

And who can forget this

The point is that Nikola Mirotic has a long way to go before thinking about matching the great success Toni Kukoc had with the Chicago Bulls.  Still, winning a championship would certainly get him off on the right foot.

Erik Lambert
Brainwashed by the sports culture as a wee lad, Erik was educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College. He has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.