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 /
4 of 4
Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls
Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

1) Bold predictions for Chicago Bulls PF Lauri Markkanen

True shooting percentage tops 58 for the first time

Posting career bests in a number of major statistical categories will be an important step for Markkanen to truly start living up to the hype in his fourth year in the NBA. Markkanen showed flashes in the past, namely down the stretch during the 2018-19 season, where he could become a really brilliant modern big man in this league.

The problem for him always was doing something like that consistently, and staying healthy while doing it. Markkanen did at least remain mostly healthy last season, as he played in 50 games for the Bulls during the shortened 2019-20 campaign (all 50 games of which he started in). He just wasn’t too efficient in those 50 games played, especially at the outset of last season.

Interestingly enough, Markkanen did register a career-high 56.0 true shooting percentage last season. He also registered a career-high three-point attempt rate of 53.6 percent and 51.7 effective field goal percentage. If Markkanen can get his shooting stroke straightened out on a more consistent basis this season, getting his true shooting up around two or three percentage points is a realistic expectation.

Next. 3 early season trades with Sixers for Ben Simmons. dark

Last season, Markkanen shot 42.5 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from beyond the arc, and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line. Basketball-Reference projects him to shoot 43.9 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 84.4 percent from the free-throw line, during the 2020-21 season. Those projected shooting percentages would get him very close to a 58.0 true shooting percentage this season.