The past two seasons with the Chicago Bulls haven’t exactly been peachy for Lauri Markkanen. On Friday, the 24-year-old turned a page in his career as he made the move to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a blockbuster three-team deal. Markkanen has since spoken out about the challenges he faced during his time in Chicago as well as how much love he has for the city.
Markkanen admitted that there were some struggles throughout his time with the Bulls. Nevertheless, he still fondly holds on to the memories:
“I appreciate all the fans,” Markkanen said, via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. “I got some criticism, which is sometimes good for you. Mostly, it’s been really positive. A lot of cars stopping and saying your name, cheering for you. It’s a lot of support as well. That’s what I’m going to remember, the positive part.
“So thank you. I’ve loved playing in Chicago. Obviously, things didn’t work out. But I got no hard feelings towards them. I’m really happy I got to play there. I’m also really excited for this new chapter.”
Markkanen’s production for the Bulls saw a constant decline over the past two seasons. After an outstanding sophomore year for the 7-foot power forward, things went downhill in Years 3 and 4.
The good news for Markkanen is that he now gets a fresh start in Cleveland. It is clear from his comments above that he’s very excited about suiting up for the Cavs, and hopefully for him, the change in scenery will work to jumpstart his career with his new team.