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Bulls begin negotiations with Nikola Mirotic

Sources reported this week that financial details were not discussed during the Bulls' nine-hour courtship of Carmelo Anthony's free agent tour that begin in Chicago on Tuesday.

The final two teams to meet with Anthony on that tour, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks, both offered him maximum contracts and reports say he's taking the weekend to mull over his decision.

Anthony was always the Bulls prime target this summer and the belief is that Anthony's decision will be between the Bulls and the Knicks when it is all said and done.

In the mean time, it looks like the Bulls are at least moving forward to contingency plans in the case that Anthony remains in New York.

Hoopshype reported Friday morning that Nikola Mirotic has chosen to leave Real Madrid and pay his buyout of approximately $3.4 million to join the Bulls. The Bulls are able to pay up to $600,000 of that buyout, per league rules without having anything counting against their salary cap.

The Bulls brass also flew to Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with Lakers' free agent Pau Gasol, who is drawing interest from several clubs.

The 6'10 Mirotic is considered the best player in Europe and averaged 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in Euroleague play last season. He's been compared as a cross between Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki and Denver Nuggets small forward Danilo Gallinari.

Bringing Mirotic over would mean the Bulls would have to find a trade partner willing to take Carlos Boozer and the final year of his deal that will pay him $16.8 million, or amnesty the power forward. Trading Boozer would allow the Bulls to stay over the cap and sign Mirotic and possibly D.J. Augustin to excpetions.

Up until now, the Bulls only offseason acquisition has been the draft-day deal that brought them Creighton's Doug McDermott and Australia's Cameron Bairstow.

Things are expected to pick up once Anthony makes his decision.