(670 The Score) As trade speculation surrounding his future continues, Bulls forward Niko Mirotic is dealing with what the team is calling a lower left leg strain.
Mirotic sat out practice Monday with the injury and was seen shooting prior to the start of practice Tuesday when reporters were allowed in for interviews. However, it’s unclear if Mirotic was going to practice Tuesday, and some doubt remained if would travel later in the day with the team for a West Coast road trip that starts with a game at Portland on Wednesday night. Coach Fred Hoiberg said he’d “anticipate” that Mirotic would travel.
The cause of Mirotic’s injury remains uncertain. He played as usual in his team’s lackluster loss to the Bucks on Sunday, leaving with the rest of the regulars in garbage time after the game was out of reach. There was no indication postgame Sunday that Mirotic had been injured.
Mirotic has been a prime trade candidate ever since he became eligible to be dealt on Jan. 15. He has yet to back off his desire to have a divorce from teammate Bobby Portis, whose punch in training camp caused Mirotic to miss the first 23 games of the season when facial fractures and a concussion. The rebuilding Bulls also continue to be focused on obtaining a top-five draft pick, and Mirotic has been instrumental in their success. They’re 4-21 without him this season and 14-11 when he plays.
Mirotic, 26, is averaging 16.8 points and shooting 42.9 percent on 3-pointers this season.
The Jazz have been a leading suitor for Mirotic, who is interested in playing for Utah, according to reports. The Trail Blazers and Celtics are two other teams who have been tied to possibly having interest in Mirotic.