Forward Lauri Markkanen could end up sticking around with the Chicago Bulls for a long time.
This is going to be a big year for the Chicago Bulls. It’s a year where the new regime decides which players will be around long-term, and Vice President Arturas Karnisovas will be keeping a close eye on these young guys all season.
One player who enters a very crucial year with the Bulls is fourth-year forward Lauri Markkanen, the former no. 7 overall pick. This is the final year of his rookie contract, and next offseason, Markkanen could be a hot name.
Bringing BIlly Donovan to Chicago is going to prove as a great move, especially when it comes to Markkanen. Most know Donovan as a coach who can bring the very best out of each and every player on his roster.
Markkanen is the one player fans want to see him work his magic on, considering former head coach Jim Boylen ruined his game. This should be a huge year for Markkanen; a year where he can prove he’s still yet to break out.
Or, maybe he’s already given Donovan and Karnisovas enough reason to believe he’ll develop into a stud. Tuesday, Markkanen told reporters he sees himself in Chicago for the long haul, and thus is trying to get his agent to work out an extension soon.
This is surprising news, considering Donovan has yet to work with him for a full season. But, the fact that the Bulls and Markkanen could be finalizing an extension soon may end up as a gigantic victory for Chicago.
The potential for Markkanen to become a special player is there. We’ve seen flashes. He’s still just 23 years old. If the Bulls get a deal done before we see the true breakout, odds are this contract will end up being quite the steal.
This would be a win-win for both sides. Markkanen gets job security. He gets paid. But, in the Bulls’ eyes, whatever they end up agreeing on will likely be a bargain. Markkanen’s worth is currently no where near where it could be just months from now.
The former Arizona product seems to have his new head coach raving. Most importantly, he has the man in charge raving.
Per Rob Schaefer of NBCS Chicago, Karnisovas had this to say Tuesday about Markkanen:
“We like Lauri (Markkanen) and we would like him to be part of this organization for a long time… We’re going to make every effort to get [an extension] done.”
Those are some telling words from a guy in a brand-new position of great power about a stretch four who has always shown the ability to become much more than what we’ve seen thus far in his career.
If Chicago and Markkanen come to an agreement sooner rather than later, it’s a wise move on both parts, and another exciting notch in a year that’s been full of promise for these Bulls.