Bobby Portis Suspended 8 Games After PracticeAltercation with Nikola Mirotic.
The Chicago Bulls' 2017-18 season took anunexpected turn before it even tipped off, and forward Bobby Portis was suspended Wednesdayas a result.
Portis was suspended eight games by the team,per K.
Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
Chicago opens the 2017-18 season Thursdaywith a road game against the Toronto Raptors.
The punishment comes after Portis and forwardNikola Mirotic had a "physical altercation" during Tuesday's practice, per a statementfrom the Bulls.
The Vertical's Shams Charania reported Miroticwas hospitalized in the aftermath after an "alleged surprise punch from Portis" to hisface.
The team's statement also confirmed Miroticsuffered "a concussion and maxillary fractures" and will likely need surgery.
Chicago selected Portis with the No.
22 overallpick in 2015.
Considering this is a rebuilding season forthe Bulls, it was assumed the 22-year-old would have the opportunity to prove himselfas a potential centerpiece in the near future.
He averaged 7.
0 points and 5.
4 rebounds pergame as a rookie and followed up with 6.
8 points and 4.
6 boards a night in 2016-17.
While his scoring was slightly down in hissecond season, he was more efficient at 48.
8 percent shooting from the field compared to42.
7 percent in his first campaign.
With Mirotic out for the foreseeable futureand Portis now suspended, attention will turn to rookie Lauri Markkanen at the power forwardspot.
7 overall pick was part of the tradethat sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves and, like Portis, could be a critical partof Chicago's future contending efforts.
Portis will be eligible to return for theBulls' ninth game of the season against the Raptors on Nov.
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