Back in the 2017 NBA Draft, Lauri Markkanen was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 7 overall pick out of Arizona. He wouldn’t be headed to the Timberwolves though, as he was traded to the Chicago Bulls as part of the Zach LaVine for Jimmy Butler trade.
After four seasons with the Bulls, it appears that Markkanen’s time in Chicago is nearing a close. He has never quite managed to take the next step during his time with the organization after showing intriguing flashes of potential early on.
Markkanen enters this offseason as a restricted free agent, which means that the Bulls can match any offer he receives. There is the possibility of the team orchestrating a sign-and-trade deal with the team that he ends up signing his offer sheet with.
However, there haven’t been any signs suggesting that Chicago is interested in bringing back the power forward from Finland. There have been a variety of potential suitors that have been brought up in rumors well in advance of NBA free agency.
The problematic fit Markkanen displayed alongside Nikola Vucevic defensively could be a driving force in the Bulls deciding to move on. It appears to be genuinely untenable for the two to play alongside each other for extended stretches throughout games.
Given that information, here are a few teams that would be ideal destinations for Lauri Markkanen in NBA free agency this summer.
The Minnesota Timberwolves never got an opportunity to see what Markkanen could bring to their roster due to involving him in the LaVine-Butler trade. But Minnesota has a chance to add the floor-spacing power forward this offseason if they want to.
While Markkanen averaged a career-low 13.6 points this season, he did make a career-best 40.2 percent of his three-point attempts.
Markkanen’s ability to knock down threes and space the floor could make him a coveted free agent for certain teams. Injuries have been a concern for Markkanen, which could cause other teams to pass on the former first-round pick.