1. Let the final year of his contract run its course
Letting Markkanen get one more chance with the Bulls is the entire theme of this last part of the list. He might have a higher ceiling than just about any other Bulls player, outside of possibly rookie point guard Coby White. He could still be a key piece of this young core alongside center Wendell Carter Jr., White, and LaVine.
There is a usual trend that players are at their best in the final year of their current contract. That does make sense since they’re essentially playing for their next few years of paychecks, at least that’s true in Markkanen’s case. He was well on a path to getting swirling discussions of a very large contract during the 2020 offseason with his play down the stretch last season, but that took a nose dive of late.
Once there was a time when Bulls fans and media were discussing the potential of Markkanen getting a max contract extension during the 2020 offseason. That has since died down to the point where fans are asking if he even should be getting $15 million per year in his next deal. A max contract is completely out of the question at this point.
In 50 games played so far this season, Markkanen is averaging 14.7 points per game, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 0.8 steals, while shooting 42.5 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 82.4 percent from the charity stripe. Let him get one more chance to try and become the 20 point and 10 rebound machine that we all thought he could be two years ago.