Lauri Markkanen
Lauri Markkanen
22-Year-Old ForwardF
Chicago Bulls
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Though Markkanen has struggled to stay healthy in his first two seasons, totaling only 120 games played, his time on the floor has been impressive. The No. 7 overall pick in 2017, Markkanen set career highs nearly across the board during his sophomore campaign. Notably, he became the first player in NBA history to average at least 18 points, 9 rebounds and 2 three-pointers at 21 years old or younger. While the Bulls signed Thaddeus Young to shore up frontcourt depth, Markkanen is still in line to start at power forward and see 30-plus minutes per game. It seems unlikely the 7-footer will ever be a force defensively or as a passer, but his upside as a scoring big with great rebounding ability is undeniable. In Markkanen's 52 appearances last season, he racked up eight 30-point games, 20 contests with at least 10 rebounds and five performances with five made threes. But he's not just a stretch-big. Markkanen has shown aggressiveness, making 3.3 free-throws per game last season. Only three other players 6-foot-10 or taller in 2018-19 converted at least 2 threes and 3 free-throws per game (Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari). All things considered, Markkanen looks to be on track to become one of the NBA's top power forwards sooner than later. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $8.36 million contract with the Bulls in July of 2017. Bulls exercised $5.3 million team option for 2019-20 in October of 2018. Bulls exercised $6.73 million team option for 2020-21 in October of 2019.
Drops 20 in loss
FChicago Bulls
December 6, 2019
Markkanen recorded 20 points (8-17 FG, 4-11 3Pt), three rebounds, three steals and an assist in 36 minutes Friday against Golden State.
Markkanen scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive game and 16th time on the season. Though he continues with an inconsistent shot, his last three games offer a glimmer of hope going forward. In that span, Markkanen's averaging 18.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.0 steal while shooting a combined 20-of-38 from the field and 12-of-27 from behind the arc. Based on the track record from his first two seasons, there remains a good chance that Markkannen will be able to turn his season around.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The seventh overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Markkanen wasted no time bursting onto the scene for the Bulls. He started all 68 games he appeared in, led Chicago in rebounds per game (7.5), had the third-highest scoring average on the team (15.2) of everyone who saw at least 24 games with the club, and became the fastest player in NBA history to 100 made three-pointers. The sky seems to be the limit for the 21-year-old, who also recorded 14 double-doubles and two 30-point games. The addition of Jabari Parker via free agency and Wendell Carter through the draft gives Markkanen some more frontcourt competition, though it’s hard to imagine Markkanen getting the short end of the stick. Though he missed a handful of games to due nagging back spasms towards the end of the season, it’s tough to judge the seriousness of the issue, as the Bulls were more than willing to sit key players in order to secure a higher draft pick. So, in evaluating his Fantasy stock for 2018-19, those absences can arguably be ignored.
Born in Finland, Markkanen opted to come Stateside for his collegiate career, but spent just one standout season in Arizona before declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft. With Arizona, the seven-foot big man showed an impressive jump shot for his size, shooting 49.2 percent from the field, which translated to a team-high 20.2 points per game. Markkanen was also able to hit from the perimeter with a 42.3 percent clip from the three-point line, giving him the size and offensive skill set that's highly coveted in today's NBA. That prompted the Bulls to select Markkanen with the seventh overall pick of this year's draft. He's heading into one of the more beneficial environments of this year's rookie class, as the Bulls are in full rebuild mode. They traded away superstar Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves and could potentially part with Dwyane Wade as well, in what appears to be a youth movement in Chicago. Markkanen is a candidate to immediately jump into the starting lineup as a stretch-four with his shooting ability. While he's got a ton of work to do defensively and needs to bulk up in order to have a chance on the boards against some of the bigger power forwards in the league, Markkanen will still be one of the more intriguing rookies due to his offensive ability and opportunity for playing time in the frontcourt. Markkanen will have to hold of Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis for rights to a starter's job, but look for his role to ultimately expand as the year goes on. Markkanen could be worth taking a flier on in later rounds of deeper leagues, as the Bulls are fully expected to commit to his development as one of the young building blocks for the future.
More Fantasy News
Solid line in win over Kings
FChicago Bulls
December 3, 2019
Markkanen scored 20 points (6-12 FG, 4-8 3PT, 4-4 FT) to go along with seven rebounds and one assist in 30 minutes during Monday's 113-106 win at Sacramento.
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Scores 13 points in loss
FChicago Bulls
November 29, 2019
Markkanen had 13 points (4-14 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 3-4 FT), eight rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes of a 107-103 loss to Portland on Friday.
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Scores eight points
FChicago Bulls
November 28, 2019
Markkanen had eight points (3-10 FG, 1-4 3PT, 1-1 FT), four rebounds, three assists and one steal in 25 minutes during Wednesday's 104-90 loss at Golden State.
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Yet another poor night
FChicago Bulls
November 25, 2019
Markkanen scored 10 points (3-7 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT) and added three assists, a rebound and a block in 27 minutes as the Bulls were defeated 117-94 by the Trail Blazers on Monday night.
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Another dud in Friday's loss
FChicago Bulls
November 23, 2019
Markkanen had just nine points (3-12 Fg, 0-4 3Pt, 3-4 FT), seven rebounds and one assist in 24 minutes during Friday's 116-108 loss to the Heat.
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