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Lauri Markkanen thinks Bulls should have been a playoff team this season

Bulls, Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen thinks the Chicago Bulls should have been a playoff team this season.

The Bulls weren’t even close to making the postseason. They won just 22 games and finished in the 13th spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Markkanen missed the first 23 games of the season after suffering an injury during training camp. The Bulls started the year off at 5-18 without Markkanen and were never able to rebound from that putrid start.

“Because even with the guys we have now we should have been a playoff team,” Markkanen told Sam Smith of Bulls.com. “We just have to get it together. It was tough for me to see we didn’t do well while I was sitting out and not being able to help. I tried my best to pick it up and we did have a good month (in February). But I could have done a better job. As a competitor, I feel I could have done better.”

The Bulls have missed the playoffs two years in a row since the Jimmy Butler trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The rebuild in Chicago is going slow, but the emergence of Markkanen and shooting guard Zach LaVine is something the organization is really excited about.

Depending on who the Bulls get in the 2019 NBA Draft, the playoffs may or may not be within striking distance in 2019-20. As long as Markkanen, LaVine and Wendell Carter Jr. continue to get better, though, that’s all that really matters for the Bulls at this point.