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Lauri Markkanen is totally done with Bulls

Lauri Markkanen, Bulls

The writing has been on the wall, but it looks like Lauri Markkanen’s time with the Chicago Bulls will indeed be coming to an end very soon.

Markkanen did an interview over in Europe in which he expressed his desire to get a “fresh start” elsewhere. The Finnish big man claimed he has offers from several teams and is just waiting for the Bulls to work something out.

Markkanen is a restricted free agent, so the Bulls could match any offer sheet he signs. With cap space drying up around the NBA, though, he might not even go the offer sheet route. Since he clearly wants out and the Bulls are seemingly ready to move on, there could be a sign-and-trade in the works.

The Charlotte Hornets were recently rumored as a suitor for Markkanen, but they just signed Kelly Oubre Jr. with their cap space. If the Hornets are still interested, they could look to work out a sign-and-trade deal with Chicago. The Minnesota Timberwolves have also been rumored as a top suitor.

Markkanen was hoping for a big payday this offseason, but he’s likely not going to get it. While he just had the best shooting season of his career at over 40% from 3-point range, the stagnation of the rest of his game has limited his market. Once viewed as a centerpiece of the Bulls’ rebuild, he didn’t develop as hoped and saw his role diminish this past season after Chicago traded for Nikola Vucevic and Daniel Theis.

The Bulls could still use some frontcourt depth with Theis and Thaddeus Young now out of the picture, but it doesn’t look like Markkanen will be back. Chicago has 2020 second-round pick Marko Simonovic set to come over from Europe to help replace Markkanen.