After 3 brief years as a member of the Chicago Bulls, Lauri Markkanen is frustrated and wants out of Chicago. That is unless things start changing for the better down there in the Windy City . This shouldn’t be much of a surprise due to the amount of visible tension and frustration Bulls players have had on the court. There have been trade rumors flying around this team for a good portion of the year including Zach Lavine, saying he’d love to play with Lebron James.
Markkanen was the 7th pick of the 2017 NBA draft. Despite being overshadowed by prospects such as Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum, Markkanen had a respectable rookie outing averaging 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting 43.4 percent from the field. Markkanen proved to be apart of these new-age big men shooting over 36 percent from three point range.
Markkanen’s sophomore year saw him improve to a solid 18.7 points per game and 9.0 rebounds. His field goal and three-point percentage dipped a little to 43% and 36.1%. Still, that season to date, has been the best year of his career.
This season currently, Markkanen’s stats have fallen. He’s currently averaging 14.7 points per game while snagging a career-low 6.3 rebounds per game. This decline in stats may be due to the ball dominance of rookie Coby White and the emergence of Zach Lavine as a borderline all-star.
Teams potentially interested could be the Knicks and the Portland Trail Blazers. The Knicks showed interest in Markkanen on draft night. Phil Jackson who was then president of basketball operations thought of Markkanen as a more durable form of Kristaps Porzingis. In ironic fashion, the 7 foot 3 big men tore his ACL that following season. Now with Kristaps gone and the Knicks firmly in rebuilding mode, Markannen would complement the development of both RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson extremely well while being able to develop himself. A potential package could include Julius Randle, Wayne Ellington, Dennis Smith Jr for Markkanen and a pick.
Portland would be a more interesting fit for Markkanen. The Trail Blazers acquiring a player like him could either allow them to start him at the 5 or start him at the 4. Which would force Melo in a 6th man role. His ability to stretch the floor and his ability to score on the low block would complement Dame and CJ well. A potential trade package could be Rodney Hood, Nassir little and a first-round pick for Markkanen.
With all these possibilities don’t be surprised if we see future star Lauri Markkanen on the move in the foreseeable future.