Utah Jazz fans can officially rejoice, as they welcome back their team's best player to the United States. Lauri Markkanen has officially completed his mandatory military service for his native Finland and will be ready to go for NBA training camp next week.
The 2022 All-Star shared the big news on Friday in an Instagram post, via Bleacher Report, that showed him wearing his military uniform. The caption read, “Done.” Markkanen, like all Finnish men under the age of 30, are required by law to serve. With the Jazz falling out of the NBA Play-In Tournament picture late last season, he felt it was an ideal time to fulfill his national duty (shipped out in spring).
Lauri Markkanen has completed his mandatory service with the Finnish military
(via laurimarkkanen/IG) pic.twitter.com/AISdNTqkwE
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 29, 2023
The 26-year-old forward now turns his attention back to basketball. Markkanen carries the responsibility of leading a Utah squad that is mired in plenty of uncertainty, despite trading for Atlanta Hawks big man John Collins in the offseason. Colin Sexton's future is up in the air and head coach Will hardy will have plenty of lineup tinkering to do. The time to sort all those things out begins next Tuesday at the Jazz's training camp in Hawaii.
Lauri Markkanen comes with a completely different perception surrounding him after his breakout 2022-23 campaign. He averaged 25. 6 points and 8.6 rebounds in his first year in Utah. With the addition of Collins and the continued development of Walker Kessler, the Jazz should have one of the more impressive frontcourts in the NBA.
Although the military deals with far more dire matters than basketball, the discipline Markkanen learned from serving in Finland could have a significant impact in his preparations for the new season.