Bulls

This is not a punchline: Bulls pick up Bobby Portis’ option

portis-1027.jpg
USA TODAY

This is not a punchline: Bulls pick up Bobby Portis’ option

What happens when you punch a teammate and send him to the hospital?

Beyond the eight-game suspension Bobby Portis received, apparently it's getting your option renewed.

Portis, Cameron Payne and Jerian Grant had their fourth-year contract options picked up by the Bulls. The team also picked up third-year options on Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine.

There are multiple ways to look at these moves. Portis getting his contract renewed may come as a surprise because of the recent drama with Nikola Mirotic. Maybe if Mirotic gets traded the Portis-Mirotic situation will become easier.

Grant has started all four games to start the season in his second year with the team. The point guard and is averaging 10.8 points and 7.3 assists per game, but is shooting 39.5 percent from the field and is 1-for-10 on 3-point attempts.

Valentine has seen an increase in minutes in his second year in the NBA. He is averaging 10 points in 26.3 minutes per game while shooting 39.5 percent from 3.

The other two players whose options were picked up haven't yet distinguished themselves in a Bulls uniform. Dunn, one of the key pieces acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade, hasn't played for the team while missing the start of the year with a dislocated finger suffered in the preseason. Payne played 11 games with the team last year after arriving in a midseason trade with the Thunder that sent Taj Gibson to Oklahoma City. Payne hasn't played yet this year after undergoing foot surgery in the offseason.

Lauri Markkanen has career-high 26 points in loss to Suns

Lauri Markkanen has career-high 26 points in loss to Suns

Lauri Markkanen continues to impress.

The 20-year-old rookie had a career-high 26 points in the Bulls' 113-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night. He also picked up 13 rebounds.

After the game, in which the Bulls fell to 3-11 on the season, coach Fred Hoiberg had high praise for the Finnish.

"I thought Lauri was phenomenal," Hoiberg said. "But when he is open, we gotta get him the ball. When he's got it rolling like he did tonight, guys were switching and we had him a couple of times with the point guard buried in his back and we didn't get him the ball."

Watch what Hoiberg had to say about the Bulls' tight loss in the video above.

Road Ahead: Bulls prep for Lonzo Ball and the Lakers

Road Ahead: Bulls prep for Lonzo Ball and the Lakers

The Bulls have a busy week ahead of them.

It will kick off on Tuesday when Fred Hoiberg & Co. take on Lonzo Ball and the Lakers in Los Angeles.

After that, the Bulls will head to Utah and face the Jazz on Wednesday, followed by the defending champ Golden State Warriors on Friday. Both games — against the Jazz and Warriors — will be on NBC Sports Chicago, and streaming live on the NBC Sports app.

See what Mark Schanowski, Vincent Goodwill, Kendall Gill and Will Perdue had to say about the upcoming week in the latest Honda Road Ahead.