In surprising, yet even more depressing news for the Bulls, it was announced Wednesday afternoon that Nikola Mirotic had an emergency appendectomy after suffering an appendicitis attack. The Chicago Bulls released a statement regarding the news:
"Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic was diagnosed with an acute appendicitis. An appendectomy was perfomred earlier today at Rush University Medical Center and went as expected. As a result, Mirotic did not accompany the team on its trip to Los Angeles this afternoon.
He is expected to return after the All Star break."
For a team concerned with its logjam of frontcourt players during the first part of the season, is now down two of its key contributors. As for the time being, this means we'll be seeing a lot more of Bobby Portis, which will and should be good for his long term development. However, this probably means we'll also be seeing some of Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Bairstow too.
More importantly, this all but closes any discussion of possible deals surrounding the Bulls frontcourt. Chicago had a window to explore and execute scenarios for one of their bigs, and that went out the window with the Mirotic news.
Also, ESPN's Marc Stein had some interesting news to report regarding this area:
After it was widely assumed Chicago was a lock to trade a big before the Feb. 18 trade deadline, Bulls' frontcourt logjam unjammed by injury— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 27, 2016
As for Pau Gasol ... latest signals out of Chicago are that the Bulls want to RE-SIGN the free agent-to-be. As opposed to trading him— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 27, 2016
Ugh. I'm honestly not sure what the logic is behind "wanting" to re-sign Pau Gasol this summer, as it's counterproductive to everything they are wanting to achieve under Fred Hoiberg. But we have months before we cross that bridge, still just the mere thought makes you shudder.
The road isn't getting any easier for this Bulls team struggling to find it's path.