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Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen reacts to snub on SLAM’s best of 2017 draft class list

Lauri Markkanen, Bulls

During his rookie season, Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen exceeded expectations and produced at a high level. In 68 regular-season games, Markkanen averaged 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists while shooting 43.4 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from beyond the arc and 84.3 percent from the free-throw line. He made the All-Rookie first team as well.

It looks like Markkanen’s sound rookie season, though, is being overlooked by some. SLAM Magazine snubbed the 21-year-old in their best of 2017 draft class list Wednesday.

Lauri Markkanen saw the list and couldn’t help but react:

Lauri Markkanen is currently out with a high-grade lateral right elbow sprain. It’s unclear when he will return to the lineup. The Bulls have started the season 0-3 with losses to the Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks.

Markkanen vows to be the same impact player once he returns to the court. Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said Markkanen would need to keep the elbow immobilized for about a month. Markkanen suffered the injury back on Sept. 28 in training camp.

Lauri Markkanen put on about 17 pounds in the offseason and now has muscles in his biceps he can show off. It was once thought Zach LaVine was the biggest piece the Bulls received in the Jimmy Butler trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but now the talk around Chicago is that Markkanen, and not LaVine, is the Bulls’ franchise cornerstone, though the guard’s ridiculous scoring binge to start the season has people coming around on him.