Bulls exercise options on Portis, 4 other players
CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls have exercised their fourth-year option on Bobby Portis after the forward was suspended for eight games for injuring teammate Nikola Mirotic during a fight at practice.
The Bulls also picked up third-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine and fourth-year options on guards Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne. The moves were announced on Friday, meaning the players are under contract for the 2018-19 season.
Portis and Mirotic got into an altercation during practice on Oct. 17. Mirotic suffered broken bones in his face as well as a concussion. He likely will need surgery.
Portis publicly apologized to Mirotic last Saturday. He said at the time that he had reached out to Mirotic, but had not received a response. It’s unclear if the two will be able to play together again.
“I feel like I let my fans, the Bulls organization and most importantly my teammates down,” Portis said last weekend. “This is not who Bobby Portis is.”
Portis, Dunn, Valentine, Grant and Payne are former first-round picks. Portis and Valentine were selected by the Bulls, while Dunn, Grant and Payne were acquired via trade.
Dunn came over in the draft-night deal that moved Jimmy Butler to Minnesota. He could make his Bulls debut Saturday against Oklahoma City after he missed the start of the season to rehab a dislocated left index finger.
Valentine, who turns 24 on Nov. 16, is averaging 10 points through four games this season. He was the 14th pick in last year’s draft out of Michigan State.
Portis, who went No. 22 overall out of Arkansas in 2015, is averaging 6.9 points and five rebounds over 126 games with the Bulls. He is allowed to practice with the team while he is suspended.
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