Nikola Mirotic agrees to Barcelona contract

The Milwaukee Bucks traded for Nikola Mirotic prior to February’s trade deadline during the 2018-19 season. Now, a free agent, Mirotic has agreed to a deal with FC Barcelona’s basketball team on Saturday. This was first reported by Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

Mirotic averaged 15.2 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 36.4% from beyond the arc last season during his time with the New Orleans Pelicans and Bucks.

According to the New York Time’s Marc Stein, Mirotic was drawing interest from the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks. A source who spoke with The Athletic’s Jordan Brenner estimated the stretch forward could make around $13 or $14 million per year. It’s a surprising move for Mirotic knowing what he could command on the open market.

The 28-year old veteran spent six seasons playing with Real Madrid before coming to play in the NBA. He was named MVP of the Spanish League in 2013.

Joe & Ebo Experience: Decisions, decisions

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Last Shots: Magic 103, Bucks 83

MILWAUKEE | 17 last shots for 17% shooting from 3-point range by the Bucks in Milwaukee’s 103-83 loss to the Orlando Magic.

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo sat out the second game of a back-to-back with right knee soreness on Saturday night leaving the Bucks shorthanded.

2. 3-point shooting was hard to come by for Milwaukee. On the season, they shoot 35% from beyond the arc but were just 6-35 (17%) Saturday night.

3. Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Malcolm Brogdon, Sterling Brown, D.J. Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova went a combined 0-23 from downtown.

4. Terrance Ross scored 13 points on 5-7 shooting in the second quarter to lead Orlando to a 59-49 halftime lead.

5. NBA All-Star, Middleton was ineffective for most of the night. He failed to reach double-digit scoring until midway through the fourth quarter. Middleton finished with 11 points on 4-17 shooting.

6. “This was a terrible game, but we have been playing well and can’t let this sit on our heads too long,” Middleton said.

7. Eric Bledsoe was a bright spot for Milwaukee. He recorded his sixth double-double of the season as he finished with a game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds.

8. “Like [Budenholzer] said, let’s throw this away. We weren’t playing bad we were just missing shots,” Bledsoe said.

9. Orlando had a strong defensive effort in the second half holding Milwaukee to just 34 points. 83 points is the Bucks’ lowest scoring output of the season.

10. “I thought in the second half we did a lot better job just keeping the ball out of the paint,” Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford said. “Our defense in the second half was really good.”

11. Bucks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer emphasized that his team needs to just move on from a loss like this one.

12. “First, a lot of credit to Orlando. They played well. They shot the ball well. First half, they shot 37 [percent]. Credit to them. They played well. We’ll probably put this one in the trash can and move on.”

13. Budenholzer is on point here and it was good to hear Middleton and Bledsoe echo their coach’s comments. The Bucks are one of the favorites to make it the NBA Finals. It’s an 82-game regular season in the NBA and you can never get too high or too low. Giannis wasn’t on the court. It was the second of a back-to-back after a road game. Games like this happen to every team in the league.

14. Despite the horrendous shooting night, the Bucks have now set a franchise record with 723 3-pointers this season.

15. Milwaukee still owns the best record in the NBA at 41-14 (.745) and have won 12 of their last 14 games.

16. Nikola Mirotic wore a Bucks uniform for the first time this season after being traded to Milwaukee from the New Orleans Pelicans.

17. The Bucks have yet to lose back-to-back games this season. They will be in Chicago Monday night to take on a Bulls team that has lost 10 straight games at home.

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Bucks can’t contain Bulls in 109-94 loss

MILWAUKEE — What had been a stout Milwaukee Bucks defense over the last couple weeks reverted back to old form in a 109-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls Sunday afternoon.

Chicago converted on 10 of its 21 (47.6 percent) three-point attempts, while dominating the glass and grabbing 49 rebounds, compared to Milwaukee’s 34. The Bulls used a 35-point third quarter to expand their lead to as many as 20 points.

Nikola Mirotic led the Bulls by tying his season high with 28 points, while Jimmy Butler added 20 for Chicago, along with a career-high 14 assists.

”My mantra is always to pass the ball to the open guy whether it’s late game, early game,” Butler said.

The Bucks were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 22 points and eight rebounds. A win would have given Milwaukee the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference outright, while completing the season sweep of their southern rivals for the first time since the 2000-’01 season. That year, Milwaukee also made the Eastern Conference Finals.

Milwaukee has beaten its last 17 opponents when holding them under 100 points.