During a media session today, Chicago Bulls’ head coach Billy Donovan revealed that Lauri Markkanen still isn’t taking contact in practice and it’s unlikely the big man returns before the All-Star break, which takes place on March 7th in Atlanta.
Markkanen has missed the last nine games due to a shoulder injury and has missed 16 total games on the season. This doesn’t bode well for Markkanen, who is entering restricted free agency at the end of the year. In 14 games this season, he is averaging 19.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and .9 APG while shooting 51% from the field and 39% from downtown.
Lauri missing this much time only hurts his chances to receive the contract he was looking for from the Bulls. Unless he completely balls out in the second half of the season, he may be at the Bulls’ mercy.