Lauri Markkanen has had a rough decline after a solid first two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.
Without a doubt, Lauri Markkanen’s efficiency on the offensive side of the floor improved. This season, he’s averaging career highs in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and effective field goal percentage. Moreover, his offensive rating is a career-high 114.
However, he is a defensive liability. His defensive rating is a career-worst 114 and his defensive box plus/minus stands also at a career-low of -1.6. His inability to play defense is evident this season which was showed by head coach Billy Donovan trying him out at small forward.
Markkanen’s rookie deal expires this summer in free agency and he will become a restricted free agent, meaning the Bulls can match any offer he receives. It’s important to remember that the Bulls failed to extend Markkanen’s contract before the season to see how the 23-year old would play.
Karnisovas did give him credit early on in the season when Markkanen was out of the lineup due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, saying “he (Markkanen) has met all the expectations we laid out for him.” However, seeing as his defense has not improved and Donovan sent him to the second rotation off the bench, it is unlikely they will offer him a deal to return.