Chicago Bulls: Projecting the preseason starting five

Lauri Markken, Wendell Carter Jr., Former Chicago Bulls Players (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Lauri Markken, Wendell Carter Jr., Former Chicago Bulls Players (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls
Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Chicago Bulls power forward

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Power Forward. player. 24. Age: 23. Lauri Markkanen. 2

Almost every single player in this Bulls young core could have a theme that is important to them for this season. That is especially true for the former Arizona Wildcats seven-footer and fourth-year Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen. The former seventh overall pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to the Bulls) in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft has yet to really live up to his promise on a consistent basis.

Plenty of blame can go around for the way that Markkanen took a step back last season. A lot of that can fall on the shoulders of former head coach Jim Boylen and just an overall lackluster usage and supporting cast for much of the season. Nonetheless, accountability will have to be a factor for Markkanen this season, as will a pretty clean bill of health.

Moreover, during the shortened 2019-20 regular season, Markkanen played in 50 games with the Bulls (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.

Both the usage of Markkanen, and his own shooting rhythm and overall decision making, have to be more consistent this season. And the efficiency that Markkanen shows out of the gates in the preseason and the regular season will go a long way to foreshadow what his stat line will look like at the end of the final year of his rookie contract.