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Knicks’ Bobby Portis responds to question about former Bulls teammate Lauri Markkanen coming off the bench

Bobby Portis, Knicks, Lauri Markkanen, Bulls

New York Knicks power forward Bobby Portis rejected the notion that his ex-Chicago Bulls teammate Lauri Markkanen should come off the bench, expressing on social media how “quick the narratives change.”

Portis, 24, signed with the Knicks in the offseason as a free agent after he was dealt to the Washington Wizards at the trade deadline last February. He inked a two-year, $31 million contract with New York.

Portis was a teammate of Markkanen for one and a half seasons. The 23-year-old Finnish was acquired by Chicago in June 2017 as a part of a the Jimmy Butler trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

While Portis may have issues in the locker room in the past with the Bulls — or maybe issue singular with Nikola Mirotic — he had no problem sharing his thoughts on the development of Markkanen. In the last five games, the third-year forward is averaging 12.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 35.4 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from behind the 3-point arc.

On the season, Markannen is shooting just 37.6 percent from the floor, indicating the slow start to the early season could forewarn a greater problem in the stretch forward’s junior year.

Portis, meanwhile, averages 9.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Knicks in a bench role. Portis had an electric game against the Bulls in the first month of the season, scoring 28 points against his former team.

However, just because they’re on different teams now doesn’t mean Portis can’t support his ex-teammate while he struggles.