Chicago Bulls: 3 bold predictions for Lauri Markkanen in 2020-21 season

Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports /
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Thaddeus Young, Chicago Bulls
Thaddeus Young, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

3) Bold predictions for Chicago Bulls PF Lauri Markkanen

Lauri and Thaddeus Young become an effective two-man combination

The thought of what the Bulls could do if they were able to run Markkanen at the five has always been intriguing for this fan base. But the problem is that Markkanen never showed the ability to contend down low on the defensive end. Even a lot of the contact that Markkanen would see in the paint on offense has caused him problems in the recent past.

One player that could be very effective alongside Markkanen in some form of a rotation off the bench this season, if he could play at the five, is veteran forward Thaddeus Young. Last season, Young and Markkanen created an absolute log jam at the four, and weren’t able to function together on the floor at all.

That problem was largely created by the way that both Markkanen and Young were utilized by former head coach Jim Boylen. Young was used completely different last season, as more of a stretch wing or forward, instead of working from inside-out like he usually does.

The two-man combination of Markkanen and Young was not efficient at all last season. They averaged 6.5 less points per 100 possessions as a two-man combination last season, had an effective field goal percentage six points lower than normal, but attempted roughly six more three-point tries per 100 possessions.

There were obvious problems with the way that two-man combination was used, when they were actually out on the floor together. But that shouldn’t be too difficult of a fix. If Markkanen can show he can play at the five at times this season, then he could be a functional pairing with Young. If not, they shouldn’t be utilized on the floor together at the same time.