Amongst all of the turmoil that the Chicago Bulls have faced this season, one bright spot from the organization has emerged. Lauri Markkanen.
After the Jimmy Butler blockbuster trade, it was clear that the Bulls were looking for a major makeover that matched the offensive style of head coach Fred Hoiberg.
Lauri Markkanen with a little boogie to get by Boogie pic.twitter.com/Yq8wBbcj2p
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) November 5, 2017
The 7-foot power forward from Arizona has been able to showcase his talents due to the Bobby Portis/Nikola Mirotic altercation. Although the circumstance isn’t ideal, Markkanen has slid into the lineup and has demonstrated a nice shooting stroke from outside.
He’s the perfect fit for Hoiberg’s spread and up tempo offense. A much different style from the ball dominant play of the guards that the Bulls displayed last year.
Going forward, the stretch four serves as a solid foundation to build around. With very few scoring options on the roster, Markkanen has been a very consistent go to option. He’s averaging around 16 points per contest and shooting a surprising 38% from three. So the Bulls forward shows lots of potential for improvement.
21.0 PTS & 11.5 REB per 40 min for Lauri Markkanen through 6 GP. Making 2.8 3s per game. Shooting on the move. Scoring vs switches. Boarding pic.twitter.com/TFB9JlxeMN
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) November 2, 2017
It’s too soon to start the comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki, or even Kristaps Porzingis, but the tools are there for Markkanen to develop into an elite talent. Even with Portis returning to the roster, it seems that Markkanen will continue to stay in the starting lineup. Especially with Mirotic refusing to speak with the organization and is even mulling a return to Europe.
All the hype has been surrounding Lonzo Ball and Ben Simmons, but the Bulls forward has quietly put together an impressive start. With little national exposure under his belt right now, Markkanen will most likely continue to fly under the radar. It’s good to see some young big men on the rise. Especially with superstar guards dominating the league.