The Chicago Bulls made a shocking decision today, extending the contract of a suspended player.
Michael Wilbon of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption recently called the Chicago Bulls the worst team in the NBA. It’s a tough thing to argue at this point. The Bulls picked up Bobby Portis’ contract option today, and the timing of this is quite odd.
Portis is currently serving an eight-game suspension for punching teammate Nikola Mirotic. The consequences of that action changed the season for Chicago. Mirotic is still recovering from a concussion and two broken bones in his face.
The big man has asked for a trade if Portis is still on the team when he returns, and it should be interesting to see what the Bulls decide to do. Chicago also picked up the options for Kris Dunn, Denzel Valentine, Cameron Payne and Jerian Grant. They are now a team devoid of superstars after trading Jimmy Butler this summer, and the Bulls should probably be aiming for the lottery.
Head coach Fred Hoiberg is finally getting the 3-point spacing that he desires, but the Bulls aren’t a contender. They snuck into the playoffs last season behind quality play from Rajon Rondo and Dwane Wade, but they aren’t poised to repeat that this year.
If the Bulls are choosing Portis over Mirotic, then that makes little sense. Portis has averaged 6.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game during his career, and he doesn’t have much ability from behind the 3-point line. Mirotic, on the other hand, is shooting 35 percent behind the arc overall, and he could continue getting better.
The Bulls have been a dumpster fire ever since Derrick Rose and Butler left town. They seem like a franchise determined to bottom out, and they are following the blueprint to make that happen sooner rather than later.