Forward Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls has had an up-and-down start to his NBA career. After being selected seventh overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, Markkanen has flashed his impressive skillset at times while also disappearing for stretches.
The upside that caused him to be selected in the lottery sometimes pops out when you’re watching the Bulls play. Other times, you can watch an entire Bulls game and barely even notice he is on the court.
At this point, it is inevitable the sharpshooting big man will be playing for a new organization when the 2021-22 NBA season rolls around. All signs pointed to that result when the team and Markkanen failed to reach an extension earlier this season.
Since then, additional evidence has surfaced that supports the idea that the relationship will be ending this offseason. It’s not a knock on the player or the current leadership within the organization.
Instead, it appears to be a case of best for both parties moving forward. Markkanen still has significant value in the league and has incredible upside given his skillset. Sometimes a pairing just doesn’t work out. The best thing to do for everyone involved tends to be moving on and not looking back.
That will be the case for the Bulls and Markkanen this offseason. Although he will be a restricted free agent, the Bulls will only be hoping a sign and trade is best for him in finding a new home. That way they can gain some sort of asset for moving on from a still very promising NBA player.
Those in charge of the team were not those in charge when Markkanen was drafted and it’s very possible he just doesn’t fit in their vision for the team. This season was, in a way, a one-year trial run on Markkanen where they could evaluate him and decide if they should include him in the long-term outlook of the team.