John Paxson, the Chicago Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations, announced Wednesday that Nikola Mirotic will miss the first four to six weeks of the regular season and needs to clear the NBA's concussion protocol before making his 2017-18 debut.
ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday that Bobby Portis punched Mirotic during an altercation between the two players. According to Wojnarowski, Mirotic "stayed down several minutes" after the incident ended.
In an official statement, the Bulls confirmed Portis and Mirotic "had a physical altercation." Paxson confirmed Wednesday that Portis is suspended for eight games. The Athletic's Darnell Mayberry shared his comments from the team's practice:
Darnell Mayberry @DarnellMayberry
Mirotic averaged 10.6 points per game and shot 34.2 percent from beyond the arc for Chicago last season. The Bulls signed him to a two-year extension in the offseason. Mirotic will earn $12.5 million guaranteed this year and has a $12.5 million team option in 2018-19.
Between Mirotic's injury and Portis' suspension, Lauri Markkanen is poised to start at power forward for the Bulls in their opener against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday.
In his one year at Arizona, Markkanen averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. He also a 42.3 percent shooter from beyond the arc.
🔥 Top Videos from Around B/R 🔥
We Owe the Indiana Pacers an Apology
B/R Looks Back on Tracy McGrady Scoring 13 Points in 35 Seconds in 2004
Tracy McGrady Scored the Most Impressive 13 Points of His Career in 35 Seconds
Butler Is the NBA's Biggest Country Music Fan
On This Day in 2012, Kobe Joined Elite NBA Club
NBA Handshake Fails
Is It Officially Panic Time in OKC?
Simmons Finally Faces 'Big Brother' LeBron
Leave Lonzo Alone, He's Only 20
The Boston Celtics Are on Top of the NBA
Gregg Popovich Has the San Antonio Spurs Rolling at Home
It's Early, but Stevens Is the Coach of the Year
Shaq and Chuck Used to Get into It on the Court
LeBron Isn't Worried, but Maybe He Should Be
NBA Superstars Are Cruising by Scoring Milestones
This Lakers Rookie Is Ready to Take Over the NBA
LeBron James Jr. Is More Than Just His Famous Name
Growing Up: Damian Lillard Tells Us How He Improved His Jump Shot as a Kid
Growing Up: the Game That Showed Isaiah Thomas He Could Be an NBA Star
Growing Up: How Kyrie Irving Became One of the League’s Most Lethal Scorers