RUMOR: Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen wants out of Chicago if things don’t change
It has been a puzzling season for Chicago Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen. After a couple of very impressive seasons to start off his NBA career, Markkanen has been struggling mightily in his third year, and he may be getting fed up.
According to The Chicago Sun-Times, Markkanen is not happy with his current situation in Chicago and may want out if things don’t change.
Of course, Markkanen is under contract through the end of the 2020-21 campaign, when he becomes a restricted free agent, but if he is this unhappy, you have to wonder if he may try to force the Bulls’ hand to trade him.
Markkaken is currently sidelined due to a hip injury and will be out for an extended period of time, and in the 46 games he has played this season, he has labored, averaging 15 points and 6.5 rebounds over 30.3 minutes per game while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor, 34.4 percent from three-point range and 82.6 percent from the free-throw line.
The 22-year-old, who played his collegiate basketball at the University of Arizona, was originally selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the seventh overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft but was then traded to Chicago in the deal that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves.
Markkanen had a very strong rookie season, registering 15.2 points and 7.5 boards across 29.7 minute a night while making 43.4 percent of his field-goal attempts, 36.2 percent of his long-distance tries and 84.3 percent of his foul shots.
Injuries and health issues then limited him to just 52 games last year, but when he was on the floor, he was impressive, recording 18.7 points and nine rebounds through 32.3 minutes per game while connecting on 43 percent of his shots, 36.1 percent of his triples and 87.2 percent of his foul shots.