• Attending his first game since being punched by teammate Bobby Portis on October 17th, Nikola Mirotic sat courtside during the 104-99 loss to the Suns at the United Center on Tuesday.

    His presence might signal the start of the healing process between the players but no sit-down has been scheduled and there was no interaction between Mirotic and Portis in the huddles during timeouts. Mirotic’s attempt to reacclimate himself was a good sign as this ‘‘breakthrough’’ appeared unrealistic last month when Mirotic and his camp issued an ultimatum to the Bulls, insisting that Portis had to go or Mirotic would be willing to waive his no-trade clause so that he could be sent elsewhere. The next big step for Mirotic will be to meet with the media for the first time since the practice altercation, something that could happen at some point during this week. His return depends on how quickly he gets his conditioning up but the Bulls are desperate for some offense and he will be welcomed back with open arms. Bobby Portis has slowed down after a strong start and the same can be said for rookie stud Lauri Markkanen who might be hitting the rookie wall so owners should keep stashing him as the upside is still there.

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