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Report: Bulls to shut down Lauri Markkanen for rest of season

Lauri Markkanen, Bulls

The Chicago Bulls are shutting down second-year power forward Lauri Markkanen for the rest of the season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Watch Stadium.

Markkanen didn’t play on Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers. He left Tuesday’s game versus the Toronto Raptors with an illness.

The Bulls announced on Wednesday Markkanen has been undergoing a series of tests to determine the cause of an episode of a rapid heart rate and fatigue during the game in Toronto.

Chicago has six games left in the regular season, so this is the right move by the organization.

Lauri Markkanen averaged 18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game for the Bulls this season in 52 games. The 21-year-old shot 43.0 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from beyond the arc and 87.2 percent from the free-throw line.

Lauri finished with 20 double-doubles on the season. It was a solid sophomore campaign for the forward, who is one of the players the Bulls are looking to build around moving forward.

Chicago lost to the Blazers on Wednesday. The Bulls are now 21-55 on the season and hoping to get a top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Fans in Chicago are hoping the franchise can land Zion Williamson or Ja Morant.