Bulls Discussing Extension With Bobby Portis

"We look at Bobby as a part of our core," Gar Forman says.

Cody Westerlund
September 24, 2018 - 6:04 pm
Bulls forward Bobby Portis

Kamil Krzaczynski/USA Today Sports

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CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- The Bulls are in contract extension talks with fourth-year power forward Bobby Portis, general manager Gar Forman said at media day Monday.

The No. 22 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Portis is eligible for an extension off his rookie contract through Oct. 15, which is the day before the NBA regular season starts. The 23-year-old Portis had a breakthrough 2017-'18 season, posting career-best marks of 13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 35.9-percent shooting on 3-pointers.

He projects to be the backup power forward this season.

"We value Bobby," Forman said. "Obviously, we look at Bobby as a part of our core, and we think he's continued to improve and get better each and every year. I think all of us up here (John Paxson and Fred Hoiberg), we love the energy he plays with, the work ethic he has, what he brings to the practice floor, what he brings to the game for us. That's why we've been having conversations and will continue to do so up until the deadline."

The Bulls have met "several times" with Portis' agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports. The team has a quality working relationship with Bartelstein, who's represented many Bulls over the years. Back in 2012, the Bulls and Bartelstein negotiated an extension for Taj Gibson that was finalized just ahead of the late-night deadline. 

His big season a year ago came after an ugly incident in training camp in which he punched teammate Nikola Mirotic in the face during a practice altercation. Mirotic was hospitalized with facial fractures and missed the first 23 games. Portis was suspended for eight games, but the Bulls stood by him amid the fallout, praising his work ethic and passion while acknowledging he made a mistake. Mirotic was traded last February after requesting a separation from Portis.

The Bulls' books are really clean for next summer, when they'll have the ability to chase high-profile free agents. If they don't reach an extension with Portis by Oct. 15, he'll be on a path to restricted free agency. His cap hold will be just shy of $7.5 million next summer, per Basketball Insiders.

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.