Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic will not have surgery on facial fractures

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NBA players often have to deal with the question of having surgery or not, usually on a knee or ankle or back. While there are plenty of injuries where the course of treatment is clear cut, there are times when it’s a matter of personal or organizational preference.

Rarely does that choice extend to facial fractures, but it did for Nikola Mirotic — who suffered a facial fracture after a punch in practice from teammate Bobby Portis — and he decided not to have surgery, John Paxson told WBBM Newsradio’s George Ofman.

Mirotic has cleared the NBA’s concussion protocol but is a long way from returning to the court.

Bobby Portis, who was given an eight-game suspension by the team, can return Nov. 8 against Toronto.

Mirotic has said he is open to a trade, and it would be a challenging locker room for the Bulls to have both Portis and Mirotic in it when the European returns down the line. The Bulls do not have an easy call here, as Vincent Goodwill laid out at NBC Sports Chicago.

Mirotic has a no-trade clause but is willing to waive it in order to leave Chicago — or more directly the specter of having to be in the same locker room as Portis. With the situation being so public, it’s hard to see the Bulls rushing to make a deal involving either player, even with the rise of rookie Lauri Markkanen lessening the necessity for both.

It’s harder to see a team offering an asset to the Bulls’ liking and opposing teams are doing background work on Portis to see what he’s like in the locker room, sources tell NBCSportsChicago.com.

Although the Bulls would like this to be wrapped up in a neat bow, there’s no smooth transition and any solution will be messy.