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Now that Bobby Portis has returned from his eight-game suspension, the Chicago Bulls have a decision to make in regards to the future of Portis and the guy he punched, stretch forward Nikola Mirotic.
Mirotic and Portis, of course, were involved in a practice fight which resulted in multiple facial fractures for Mirotic, who also suffered a concussion.
The Spaniard bypassed surgery and has been at the Bulls’ training facility conducting light workouts, but has not reconnected with the team.
Representatives from Mirotic’s camp have reportedly told the Bulls that either Mirotic or Portis must be gone once Mirotic is ready to return to action.
Portis told reporters this week that he has texted Mirotic but hasn’t received a response back.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bulls players are siding with Portis and view Mirotic’s ultimatum as dead weight.
The feeling within the Bulls’ franchise is Portis has done everything right to try and repair his relationship with Mirotic.
Portis is also just more liked by his teammates.
“According to several players, the ultimatum issued by Nikola Mirotic — either Bobby Portis goes or he goes — carries no weight. If anything, it has solidified Portis’ standing with his teammates. One Bull even said, ‘This is Niko’s problem now.’ The players agree that Portis’ actions were wrong. But there’s a lingering sense that Mirotic came into training camp with a feeling of entitlement, which did not sit well with many of his younger teammates.”
It should be noted that Mirotic signed a two-year, $27 million deal to remain with the Bulls this past summer and his contract gives him the power to veto any trade — which is unlikely to occur since it’s clear Mirotic wants to leave town if the Bulls keep Portis.
Chicago recently exercised the fourth-year option on Portis.