Chicago Bulls Rumors: Lauri Markkanen returns, but to what?

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Chicago Bulls rumors are that Lauri Markannen will return tonight, but to what?

If you’re up to speed on Chicago Bulls rumors, then you probably went through a variety of emotions when you learned earlier today that Lauri Markkanen would be making his season debut tonight against the Houston Rockets.

At first, you were probably a bit surprised, as the news seemingly came out of nowhere. That surprise, I’m sure, quickly turned to excitement as you realized the centerpiece of this rebuild and franchise is going to make his debut and fans finally get to see just how much Lauri improved in the offseason.

However, I also imagine that for at least some of you, those feelings then transitioned to apathy as you came to the realization of just what Markkanen is returning to this season — and the reality is it’s not much.

Prior to the start of the season, there may have been a ton of excitement about this particular team. Lauri was in the best shape of his life, the team resigned Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter looked like the real deal, and they’d all have a full season with Kris Dunn. Understandably, there was a lot of optimism. To add to it, the Bulls were bringing in hometown hero Jabari Parker.

My how things have changed in just a few short months. The Bulls are no just 5-18 and are the not so proud owners of the second-worst record in the league. Dunn and Bobby Portis are still injured, and while LaVine has been everything the team could have hoped for, Parker has been the exact opposite.

Calling whatever it is he plays on that side of the ball “defense” is not only inaccurate but an insult to those who actually try to play it. Instead, it’s more accurate to say he simply exists when the Bulls are not on offense. If he happens to accidentally get in the way, that’s about all you can hope for as a fan.

So you can understand if some fans aren’t “jumping for joy” with the news that Markkanen is returning. Sure, it’s great to see a young player continue to develop into the cornerstone of this team, but in the back of your mind, you can also see a repeat of last season when the Bulls did just enough to miss out on a top-three draft pick.

Next. Bulls NBA Draft outlook, Volume 1. dark

Make no mistake, as a fan, your natural instinct will be to root for your team to do well. Just know that it will likely cost the team draft status. In an ideal world, Markkanen would continue his development and the team would continue to lose.

However, the Bulls haven’t lived in an ideal world in a number of years. You just know he will be enough to elevate this team to enough wins to fall outside of Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett territory — and that’s without the return of Dunn and Portis.