Free agent forward Mirotic opts to return to EuroLeague

Bucks free agent Nikola Mirotic is heading to Europe after averaging 15.4 points this past season.

Free-agent forward Nikola Mirotic will return to Europe after playing five seasons in the NBA and sign with a EuroLeague squad in Barcelona, according to multiple reports.

Mirotic was rumored be in line for a long-term deal with a starting salary in the $12-$14 million range, had he opted to remain in the NBA.

The 28-year-old averaged 15.2 points and 7.4 rebounds in playing for the New Orleans Pelicans and the Milwaukee Bucks last season.

The Bucks acquired Mirotic from the Pelicans at the trade deadline. However, a left thumb injury limited him to only 14 games during the regular season.

He returned in time for the playoffs, but struggled in the Eastern Conference Finals against eventual-champion Toronto, shooting 6-for-31 from long distance, and not getting off coach Mike Budenholzer’s bench in Game 6 of the series.

Before coming to the NBA with the Chicago Bulls in the 2014-15 season, Mirotic had a standout career at Real Madrid.