Chicago Bulls: Re-drafting 2017 NBA Draft two-and-a-half years later

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Stephen Pellegrino/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Stephen Pellegrino/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

6. Lauri Markkanen, Power Forward

Team: Orlando Magic

Original draft slot: 7

The Magic go with the selection of Markkanen here at six overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, instead of who they originally select. The Magic picked up the former Florida State Seminoles 6-foot-10 forward Jonathan Isaac when they were originally picking at six overall. Isaac has a good amount of promise, but his skill set is limited as a primary scorer compared to Markkanen.

There’s a good case for the Magic to pick either Markkanen or Isaac here at six. But Markkanen gets the slight edge when you take his entire body of work and ceiling into consideration. Isaac is off to a stronger start this season, but Markkanen is doing better of late too.

Averaging 12.3 points per game, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists so far this season, Isaac is a solid piece for a Magic team currently sitting in playoff position. But Markkanen’s career per game averages sit at 16.3 points per game, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. Slightly better than that of Isaac. And Markkanen is more of that ideal modern stretch-big man that NBA scouts are looking for.

What the Magic would have to pull off to make it worth taking a flier out on Markkanen is get him more field goal attempts per game. He’s not getting enough of a workload to get in rhythm under the wing of Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen this season. But that trend could be improving with the way that Markkanen looked in the Bulls Dec. 19 win over the Washington Wizards.

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