A two-time All-EuroLeague star is returning to the competition in his prime to play for his former team's archrival with the announcement on Saturday that Nikola Mirotic will wear the uniform of FC Barcelona for the next three seasons, with an option for one more. Mirotic (2.08 meters, 28 years old) returns from five seasons in the NBA with Chicago, New Orleans and, lastly, Milwaukee, for a total of 319 games in which he averaged 12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Before that, the native Montenegrin spent almost a decade in the Real Madrid system, progressing to become a two-time EuroLeague Rising Star Trophy winner and a two-time All-EuroLeague selection.
Mirotic made his EuroLeague debut a month after turning 18 against none other than Barcelona. A season later, he came off the bench for 6.0 points per game and won his first Rising Star Trophy as Real reached the Final Four for the first time this century. He almost doubled his scoring to 12.5 points and averaged 4.5 rebounds in the 2011-12 season and repeated as Rising Star. The next season, he was the team's top rebounder and third-best scorer as Real reached the EuroLeague Championship Game but lost to Olympiacos Piraeus in London. Mirotic was voted to the All-EuroLeague second team that season and the next, when Real again played in the championship game, only to lose in overtime to Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. Altogether, Mirotic has played 97 EuroLeague games with career averages of 10.8 points and 4.5 rebounds. Mirotic has also been a member of the Spanish national team, with whom he won the gold medal at EuroBasket 2015 and a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.