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Injured forward Nikola Mirotic apparently would prefer to remain with the Chicago Bulls, but perhaps not with teammate Bobby Portis.
And according to a report from the Chicago Tribune, Mirotic would be willing to accept a trade in the event one presents itself. His contract stipulates that he can veto any deal — but again, he may bypass the right if the Bulls can work out a deal.
“Whatever happens, it’s clear there’s pessimism Portis and Mirotic can co-exist moving forward,” reported K.C. Johnson of the Tribune.
Mirotic suffered multiple facial fractures and a concussion following a scuffle with Portis at practice.
“There’s a growing sense that Mirotic would find returning to a locker room with Portis difficult,” Johnson reported. “In an odd way, the severity of Mirotic’s injuries could help assuage the delicate and fluid situation merely by the passage of time. Emotions remain raw for now.”
The report went on to say that Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg checked up on Mirotic on Tuesday, and that the team is expecting him to return in four-to-six weeks.
Mirotic can veto any trade for not just this season, but also the next after signing the contract late into free agency. Because of the timing of the deal, Mirotic cannot be traded until Jan. 18.
This may nor may not open the possibility the team will trade Portis before Mirotic returns. Or maybe, it will be Mirotic who moves on.