Welcome to the 2017-2018 NBA Season, Bulls fans!
Bobby Portis has been suspended 8 games after punching teammate Nikola Mirotic during practice on Tuesday. (Can’t believe I just typed that). Nikola Mirotic is out 4-6 weeks with a broken jaw that will likely require surgery. Mirotic will also have to pass the concussion protocol before returning to the floor.
VP of Basketball Operations, John Paxson, commented on the altercation Wednesday: “Bobby Portis is not a bad person. He’s a good kid. He’s a competitive kid, but in this instance, he made a mistake. And as we all know when you make mistakes you got to suffer the consequences.”
Fred Hoiberg also chimed in on the situation by saying: it’s “his job” to make sure this incident does not “derail us”. Because both men will be out for the season opener vs Toronto tomorrow, Hoiberg stated that Rookie Lauri Markkanen would start at Power Forward.
Obviously, this is a disastrous start to the season for a Bulls team that didn’t have high expectations coming into it. I was in the process of writing up a Season Preview for the Bulls and I didn’t have teammates fighting each other on the list until game 45. (kidding…..kinda).
Looking at the current roster, Mirotic is one of the best offensive “threats” on the team, so losing him is going to hurt. This leaves the Bulls with Mirotic, Portis, Lavine, Dunn, Payne all out for the opener.
As for Portis, it puts the Bulls in a difficult situation with the deadline of 10/31 looming. They have until then to pick up his team option for 2018-2019. Time will tell what they do, but realistically, waiving or trading Portis may be the best option. They have invested in Markkanen anyways, so they may as well give him as much opportunity as possible.
I’m also looking forward to seeing Jordan Bell get some minu…WAIT THEY DID WHAT?!
(Never gets old).
Bulls open the season tomorrow night in Toronto.
PG: Jerian Grant
SG: Justin Holiday
SF: Paul Zipser
PF: Lauri Markkanen
C: Robin Lopez