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Lauri Markkanen’s flight canceled, will not play versus Kings

The Chicago Bulls’ Lauri Markannen will not be playing versus the Sacramento Kings after his flight was canceled due to weather in the Windy City. He missed the team flight to witness his child’s birth.

According to the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson, the 7-foot power forward could have joined the Bulls for the Kings game with a flight on the same day but it would be counter-productive.

“Lauri Markkanen’s flight to Sacramento got canceled due to weather in Chicago. Rather than have him fly 4 hours and play on same day after being home for birth of his kid, he will re-join Bulls in Chicago. So no Markkanen vs. Kings.”

The Bulls will be undermanned and outgunned without Markannen who is now the team’s leading scorer with the departure of Nikola Mirotic who was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.

On January 10 versus the New York Knicks, Markannen scored a career-high 33 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the 3-point line. He also added 10 rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block in a preview game of Markannen’s full potential.

Markannen is one of the league’s best rookies and definitely a serious contender for the Rookie of the Year Award. For the season, he is scoring 15.3 points on 35.6 percent 3-point shooting and adding 7.7 rebounds per game for the Bulls.

Though he will miss the Sacramento game, Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago says Markannen “will be available against the Timberwolves Friday in Chicago.” Interestingly, that game will feature a handful of former Bulls players, led by Jimmy Butler, who are now all with the Tom Thibodeau-coached team.