It’s becoming increasingly apparent the Bulls will have to make a move regarding Nikola Mirotic as the Bulls are aware of his unhappiness following his incident with Bobby Portis.
Mirotic prefers a trade out of Chicago—which won’t be available to the Bulls until mid-January at the earliest because he was a free agent this summer—and is willing to waive his no-trade clause to do so, sources tell NBCSportsChicago.com.
It’s been described by one source as “one of them has to go” and the Bulls are aware of the tenuous situation. Mirotic agreed to a two-year contract with the Bulls on the eve of training camp, with the second year being a team option.
Mirotic is still recovering from facial injuries and a concussion suffered at the hands of a Bobby Portis punch two days before the start of the season. Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Mirotic is recovering from the concussion, that the headaches have subsided and that Mirotic was in the Advocate Center recently, albeit during off-hours.
Once Mirotic leaves the NBA’s concussion protocol, he’ll have to address his facial injuries with surgery or other methods, which will likely keep him out 4 to 6 additional weeks.
Portis was suspended eight games by the Bulls but is practicing in the meantime.
Portis issued a public apology and took responsibility for the incident, although many who witnessed said Mirotic charged at Portis, causing Portis to react with one punch that caused a lot of damage.
Several teammates have reached out to Mirotic following his concussion and he has talked to Robin Lopez along with Hoiberg but it’s clear he has no intention of returning to the status quo whenever he does recover.
The Bulls have talked to at least one team about Portis, sources tell NBCSportsChicago.com and that activity promises to continue over the next few days.
The Bulls have until Oct 31 to pick up Portis’ team option for next season and if they move him, one would think the team that acquires Portis would like to make that decision as opposed to it being made for them.
Either way, this season was supposed to be one devoid of drama and personal issues, but they can’t seem to escape it and will have to address this one in swift order.