Report: Nikola Mirotic’s camp unhappy with Bulls’ response to Bobby Portis’ punch

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Nikola Mirotic‘s reported desire for the Bulls trade him or Bobby Portis, who hospitalized his teammate with a practice punch, might not be just about bitterness toward Portis.

Mirotic seemingly resents the response of the Bulls, who laid blame on both players and suspended Bobby Portis eight games.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Between the organization making public its view that Mirotic acted as an aggressor leading up to Portis’ inexcusable act, plus the fact Portis is being allowed to practice during the suspension, there’s dissatisfaction within the Mirotic camp that his plight is being understood, sources said.

Keeping Portis from practice would only hurt the Bulls and him. It might placate Mirotic, who understandably could want Portis banished. But as long Mirotic still isn’t around as he recovers and Portis’ other teammates don’t have a problem with him, Portis should practice.

Were the Bulls correct to characterize Mirotic as an aggressor? No idea. Only those who saw the incident can say, and if other Bulls aren’t distraught about Portis practicing, that’s an indicator he’s not solely to blame.

But Mirotic’s perception matters, too. And if he’s unhappy with how Chicago is handling this, a complex situation becomes even more difficult to manage.