- In October, Chicago Bulls forwards Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis got into an altercation at practice that led to Portis punching Mirotic in the face.
- Mirotic went to the hospital with a concussion and two facial fractures, likely requiring surgery.
- While the Bulls suspended Portis for eight games, Mirotic has reportedly demanded that the team decide between him and Portis going forward.
The fallout of the Nikola Mirotic-Bobby Portis fight sounds as if it’s going to get uglier.
On October 17, Mirotic and Portis got into an altercation at a Chicago Bulls practice, with Portis landing a punch on Mirotic’s face.
Mirotic was reportedly down on the ground for a while and had to be taken to the hospital. He was later diagnosed with a concussion and two facial fractures, likely requiring surgery.
The Bulls suspended Portis for eight games.
Now, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times, Mirotic’s camp has given the Bulls an ultimatum: trade either him or Portis.
“Multiple sources Thursday confirmed to the Sun-Times that Mirotic’s camp gave the Bulls a ”me or him” ultimatum, with Mirotic insisting he or Portis be gone when he is ready to return to action.
“Mirotic would have to waive his no-trade clause if the Bulls elect to keep Portis, but that doesn’t seem to be an obstacle for him.”
According to Cowley, most Bulls players were unaware of the latest development. Several Bulls players have reportedly reached out to Mirotic, including Portis, but Portis said Mirotic hasn’t responded to him.
Cowley reported that the Bulls had hoped that after Portis’ suspension and Mirotic’s return, the two players could move past the incident, but that doesn’t seem likely.
The Bulls signed Mirotic to a two-year, $US27 million contract this offseason. He has career averages of 10 points and 5 rebounds per game while shooting 35% from three. Portis, a third-year forward, hasn’t had his fourth-year option exercised by the Bulls yet. He has career averages of 7 points and 5 rebounds per game on 45% shooting.
Both players may now be expendable to the Bulls with the emergence of rookie power forward Lauri Markkanen, and it may be best for all sides to move on from the incident as quickly as possible.
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