Chicago Bulls: Re-evaluating 5 players likely to be traded first in offseason

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bulls
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

2. Lauri Markkanen, Power Forward

The most concerning production from any key piece of the Bulls young core in the midst of the third year of the rebuild came from former Arizona Wildcats seven-footer and third-year power forward Lauri Markkanen.

As the first in a string of three straight seventh overall picks in the NBA Draft to try and spark this rebuild, Markkanen was looking to take a pretty massive leap this season. A third-year jump was something that fans saw from current Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis back in his final season playing for the New York Knicks. The comparisons for Markkanen in that regard are valid.

But in the 50 games that Markkanen played in this season, he averaged 14.7 points per game, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks, while shooting 42.5 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 82.4 percent from the charity stripe.

As a result, a lot of Markkanen’s advanced numbers from the season so far are down to career-lows. But there’s a misnomer in a few of his advanced analytics. For example, his true shooting percentage is actually sitting at a career-best 56.0 and his number of win shares per 48 minutes are also at a career-high .084.

On the other hand, Markkanen saw his value over replacement rating, box plus/minus rating, and player efficiency rating dip to career-lows. A lot of his shooting percentages are sitting at career-lows too.

It will be interesting to see if Karnisovas wants to ship Markkanen elsewhere while his trade value is still high, or if he wants to try and rebuild around him with a different supporting cast and rejuvenate his career in the Windy City.