Chicago Bulls: Studs they regret passing on for Lauri Markkanen: OG Anunoby
Up until this season, including OG Anunoby on this list would be somewhat debatable. I think a lot of people would have done so, but there could have been a legitimate debate from either side.
After his fourth NBA season, though, he solidified his spot on the list. The ‘debatable’ names now include players such as Jarrett Allen, Kyle Kuzma and John Collins, though each of those three has a strong argument.
Anunoby solidified his status as an elite Three-and-D player by taking another big step in year number four with the Toronto Raptors. That, with the season Lauri Markkanen had in year number four, pushed Anunoby well past him in terms of quality of player right now.
He isn’t the type of player that will be featured offensively on an elite team but he is the kind of player that can make a good team a great team by bringing his play to both sides of the court.
Anunoby has shot 37.5 percent from behind the arc in his career so far, slightly above the 36.6 percent Markkanen stands at. While Lauri has a much stronger sample size, shooting is what he does best and he still finds himself slightly less efficient than Anunoby.
Markkanen shot above 40 percent from behind the arc for the first time this past season, which Anunoby is yet to do. That does tell you how consistent he has been as a shooter though, and that should at least continue or will improve in the coming seasons.
Defensively is where Anunoby is the biggest difference-maker, without a doubt. It also happens to be one of Markkanen’s greatest weaknesses on the court. Anunoby is a small forward that can play the two in a pinch and despite being 6 foot 7 can play some small-ball four.
He’s already in the upper echelon in terms of perimeter defenders in the league at 23 years old and he is only getting better. Selected late in the first round, 23rd overall to be exact, Anunoby is someone a lot of teams passed on in the 2017 NBA Draft.
With Lauri Markkanen’s time with the Bulls seemingly concluding very soon, the Bulls are one of the teams that regret passing Anunoby most.