Nikola Mirotic could return to Bulls ‘shortly,’ but he still hasn’t spoken with Bobby Portis

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Bulls executive Bulls executive John Paxson put it on Nikola Mirotic to be around the team more.

This despite Mirotic getting punched in the face by teammate Bobby Portis during practice and Mirotic reportedly telling Chicago to trade one or the other. Teammates sided with Portis, who has played well since his team-issued eight-game suspension. Fairly or not, Mirotic must adjust.


Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

As of Sunday, there still had been no contact between them since Portis punched Mirotic in a fight during practice Oct. 17

‘‘Niko had a really good week of workouts,’’ Hoiberg said. ‘‘He’s continuing to ramp up his activity. He had good strength workouts and he’s increasing his workload on the floor, so we’re hoping to get him back with the team shortly.’’

Because he recently signed a new contract, Mirotic can’t be traded until Jan. 15. It sounds as if he’ll be ready to play before that. Chicago might not want to trade Portis now.

As long as Mirotic keeps ignoring Portis, who initially reached out, the Bulls are headed toward an awkward limbo.