Fred Hoiberg said it hasn't yet been determined whether Nikola Mirotic will travel on the Bulls' four-game trip that begins Sunday in Phoenix. What is settled is who will be the starting power forward when Mirotic is physically cleared to play. "I would say Lauri (Markkanen) is our starter moving forward," Hoiberg said. Markkanen's strong play after Bobby Portis concussed Mirotic and broke two facial bones with a punch during an Oct. 17 practice altercation has advanced the timeline for the rookie. Hoiberg had named Mirotic the starter until Portis' punch just two days before the season opener, which also drew Portis an eight-game suspension. "(The situation) gave me a bigger chance right away," Markkanen said. "But I'm glad to have Bobby back and hopefully Niko back. I have to do my work on the court and prove that I can be a starter." Markkanen entered Wednesday night's game against the Thunder averaging 14.5 points and 7.8 rebounds.
Lauri Markkanen will remain Bulls starter when Nikola Mirotic cleared to play
Chicago Tribune | Nov 16