Mirotic suffers broken jaw after being punched by a team mate

Nikola Mirotic is entering his fourth season with the Bulls. More

Both players will not travel with the team to Toronto for the regular season opener on Thursday night, which means the start at power forward will go to rookie Lauri Markkanen. Mirotic was hospitalized with a concussion and facial fractures.

Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis was suspended eight games less than 24 hours after punching teammate Nikola Mirotic and breaking his jaw at practice, the team announced Wednesday.

"We understand where we are as an organization", vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said. But in this instance, he made a mistake.

The suspension came after Portis and Mirotic got into it during a practice on Tuesday and ended with Portis laying out Mirotic with a single punch that broke multiple bones in Mirotic's face and gave him a concussion.

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Paxson said that the Bulls got counsel from the league on how to handle the situation.

Reporter Shams Charania described Portis' strike as "an alleged surprise punch"-in other words, a sucker punch". Portis, 22, averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds a game last season, including 13 starts. He finally prolonged his time with the Bulls, signing a two-year contract worth 27 million dollars.

Mirotic averaged 10.8 points over his first three seasons with Chicago.

He and Mirotic are expected to play key roles for a franchise looking to bounce back from a disappointing first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Boston Celtics, who erased a 2-0 deficit and won four straight to eliminate the Bulls.

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