The Bulls select Arizona Center Lauri Markkanenn with the seventh pick in the 2017 NBA draft acquired from the Minnesota Timerwolves in the Jimmy Butler trade.
Markkanenn, 20, averaged 15.6 points per game and 7.2 rebounds during his freshman season at Arizona. The Finnish star stands at 7′ 0″, 225 pounds and was one of the top freshman in college basketball last season.
Markkanenn is a natural scorer. He shot 42% from three last season, a shot the Bulls ranked 28th in the league last season.
He is mature young man and appeared to be an exceptionally focused and likable teammate in his one year at Arizona … Markkanen’s upside starts with his outstanding size for an NBA power forward at 7-0 and 230 pounds … He is a fluid athlete with great coordination for his size … Most of the intrigue with him, however, is his unique offensive skillset … Markkanen is a high-IQ player that knows how to play the game very efficiently … As mentioned above, Markkanen shot 42% from distance on 5.9 attempts per 40 minutes, and he may actually be the best shooter in this draft regardless of position … He has smooth mechanics, a soft touch, and good balance off the catch … He is not only lethal off the catch, but he is also a prolific shooter on the move off of screens, pull-ups, face-up jumpers out of the post, etc- DraftExpress.com
A major weakness in Markkanen’s game is his defense. He is not a known shot blocker and the strength is not there right now to battle NBA players, but he is young and has a lot of upside. This guy is your ultimate stretch four.
Being only 20 years old, the Bulls drafted a young athlete with a lot of upside, something they have not done in recent years. Doug McDermott and Denzel Valentine were seniors who could be really good NBA players but their ceiling was limited.
Gar Forman can finally back up his soundbite of attempting to get “younger and athletic”. Markkanen is 20, LaVine is 22, and Kris Dunn is 23. Not to mention Cameron Payne is 22, Valetine is 23 and Bobby Portis is 22.
The Bulls are rebuilding and their roster is off to a good start in the youth category. The Chicago Bulls next pick in the draft comes at No. 38 overall.