Morning Shootaround

With Nikola Mirotic wanting out, Chicago Bulls must figure out how to move forward staff reports

Well, it’s officially a mess in Chicago, where Bobby Portis was socked with a team-issued suspension and the teammate he punched out, Niko Mirotic, wants to be traded.

Before the season began, those two were building blocks for the rebuilding Bulls, but there’s a fair chance that Mirotic will develop on another team. Too bad, because the Bulls, in their present state, need all the help they can get.

KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune gives us the update:

Executive vice president John Paxson held an unscheduled media briefing before Bulls practice Friday to address the latest fallout from Bobby Portis’ suspension for punching Nikola Mirotic in the face.

Multiple outlets, including the Tribune, reported that Mirotic has made clear to the organization he’s not interested in playing with Portis moving forward. Mirotic, who can’t be traded until Jan. 15, is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks after suffering two broken facial bones and a concussion.

“I’m not going to get into any specifics about what discussions we have had with any agents and players,” Paxson said. “What I do want to say is we’re really sensitive to this entire issue and what Niko is going through physically and mentally. We’re trying to be sensitive to him. We don’t have all the answers today, but … we have to do what’s in our best interests. That’s the bottom line. And so we will.

“We have to be patient. It’s not something that’s going to be resolved overnight. We’re going to continue to communicate with Niko and his representatives and find our way through this. It’s very important for us to do what’s in our best interest.”