Chicago Bulls 2019-20 Player Reviews: Lauri Markkanen statistical rewind

Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

What did the complete body of work look like last season for the Chicago Bulls seven-footer and 23-year old power forward Lauri Markkanen.

The conclusion to the 2019-20 regular season brought mixed feelings for where a number of the players in the Chicago Bulls young core were at this point of the rebuild. There were a few key pieces of the Bulls young roster that ended the season on a high-note, namely rookie point guard Coby White and shooting guard Zach LaVine.

But there were other Bulls players like third-year power forward Lauri Markkanen and center Wendell Carter Jr. that left a lot to be desired by season’s end. The former of those two key big men for the Bulls rebuild really did not make a lot of the strides that fans expected him to this season. Lauri did have a few promising stretches, but didn’t put together a complete body of work to be confident about from last season.

Markkanen took a step back in a number of statistical areas, and had more injury troubles as the season moved along.

During the shortened 2019-20 regular season with the Bulls, Markkanen played in 50 games (all of which he started in). And he averaged 14.7 points per game, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks. Markkanen shot 42.5 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Most of his per game stats and shooting percentages were career lows for Markkanen. And he posted a career-low -0.6 box plus/minus rating, 0.5 value over replacement player rating, .084 win shares per 48 minutes, 2.6 total win shares, 56.0 true shooting percentage, 14.3 player efficiency rating, 108 offensive rating/110 defensive rating.

Some positive notes for Markkanen were that down the stretch a lot of his defensive numbers did improve (namely defensive box plus/minus rating and defensive rating). His shooting numbers also recovered from a poor start.

Markkanen should be the type of player that can shoot around 43-45 percent from the field and above 35 percent from beyond the arc. If recently hired head coach Billy Donovan can elevate his game next season, Markkanen should also be closer to the vicinity of averaging a double-double per game.

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The advanced metrics weren’t great for Markkanen last season, ESPN RPM of -0.36 (36th among NBA power forwards) and a 538 RAPTOR overall rating of -3.1 (outside the top 200 in the league). It does feel like there’s nowhere to go but up from here with Markkanen’s game as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.