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:
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 🔥
When MJ Wore #12 After His Jersey Was Stolen Before a Game
15 Years Ago, LeBron, Wade and Melo Took Over All-Star Weekend
14 Years Ago, Iverson Dropped Career-High 60 Points
The Kyrie and LeBron Bromance Is Back!
Bats Have Become an Unexpected Attraction at Spurs Games
KD Giving Back to His Hometown with Durant Center
Four Years Ago, Klay Drops Record 37 Pts in One Quarter
Remembering the Night Kobe Scored 81 Points
Happy 37th Birthday Dwyane Wade
Steph Is a Few Shots Away from NBA 3-Point History
Can Harden Keep His Dominance Going?
Steph Gifts Fan Who Asked for Girls UA Kicks with New Curry 6s
Happy 34th Birthday to LeBron 👑
4 Years Ago, Kobe Passed Jordan on the NBA Scoring List
Drummond and Embiid Reignite Rivalry
Happy 24th Birthday to Giannis Antetokounmpo
D-Rose Turned Back the Clock and Put Up 50
Dubs Trolled Fergie So Hard It Became a Challenge
CP3-Rondo Blowup Was a Long Time Coming
NBA Let Players Know They Have to Cover Branded Tattoos