Reports surfaced on Tuesday that Bulls forward Bobby Portis got into a physical altercation with teammate Nikola Mirotic. The following day, it’s been revealed that the former Arkansas star will miss a good deal of time.
Portis, entering his third season in the NBA since being taken in the first round by Chicago in the 2015 NBA Draft, received an eight-game suspension from Chicago, which announced the decision on Wednesday afternoon.
The fight between the two players reportedly happened during practice, and Portis allegedly punched Mirotic in the face. Sources told ESPN that strike left Mirotic with a fractured bone, sending him to the hospital.
On top of that, ESPN’s Shams Charania reported that there’s no timetable for Mirotic’s return as he’s “out indefinitely.”
On Tuesday evening, a source told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that Mirotic is now home with two broken bones in his face and was checked for a possible concussion.
There’s a lot of high expectations for Portis, the 22-year-old Little Rock, Ark. native, who averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Bulls last season.
He and Mirotic are expected to play key roles for a franchise looking to bounce back from a disappointing first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Boston Celtics, who erased a 2-0 deficit and won four straight to eliminate the Bulls.