3 Former Bulls the team will regret not having around in 2023

Daniel Gafford, Spencer Dinwiddie, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Daniel Gafford, Spencer Dinwiddie, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls
Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

3. Lauri Markkanen

It’s been said a hundred times at this point, and I’m not sure it will ever be enough. Letting Lauri Markkanen walk for practically nothing will go down as one of the greatest mistakes in Chicago Bulls franchise history. Exchanging a future All-Star for Derrick Jones Jr. and a first-round pick that may never even convey epitomizes just how badly the Bulls have managed for a very long time now.

Mishandled by prior management and dreadful coaching staffs, Markkanen failed to show the year-to-year growth you’d hope for from a high lottery pick. The potential to thrive was always there, however, as we saw him average 18.7 points and 9 rebounds per game as Chicago’s second option during his sophomore season.

Lauri Markkanen was the ceiling-raising player the Bulls needed.

It wasn’t until his sixth year in the league that he’d finally be allowed to unleash his full potential as a first option, when he signed a four-year contract to join the Utah Jazz. Had the Bulls put Lauri in a position to be the true leader of this team, perhaps we would have seen his All-Star performances come to the forefront sooner.

It’s even harder for me to accept this mistake when Lauri would be a virtually perfect fit alongside both DeRozan and Patrick Williams. Regardless of whether or not the Bulls tried to compete now or get younger, Markkanen’s spacing and size would complement either of Chicago’s forwards, granting them the space they need to operate while also always having a dependable kickout option waiting around the corner.  Unfortunately, we’ll never get to see this hypothetical scenario materialize.

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