Life after the trade deadline hasn’t been so good for Lauri Markkanen. After the Bulls acquired Nikola Vucevic from the Orlando Magic, Markkanen lost his starting spot to Thaddeus Young and has also seen his playing time diminish quite a bit.
Over the last five games, Markkanen has only played around 19 minutes a game and has seen his fair share of struggles on both offense and defense. With many issues regarding Markkanen’s fit, it is not surprising that the Finnish big man could be on his way out of Chicago this offseason.
According to A. Sherrod Blakely of Bleacher Report, many executives and scouts around the league believe the Spurs could be one team that will make a large offer to Lauri Markkanen this summer.
The Spurs’ interest in Markannen should not come as a shock. Throughout Greg Popovich’s tenure in San Antonio, the Spurs have enjoyed great success in developing international players. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are just two notable names that come to mind. Additionally, Markkanen offers versatility as a stretch big, a skill set that could be very appealing for a young San Antonio team.
From the Bulls’ perspective, it’s not entirely clear how much teams will be willing to pay Markkanen this offseason. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Bulls end up matching any offers that come his way if the asking price isn’t too high. However, with center Marko Simonovic, the Bulls’ second-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, potentially ready to come to the NBA soon, the Bulls may be ready to move on from Markkanen and target other free agents that fit better with the team.
It will be interesting to see what happens as the summer creeps closer, but this won’t stop the rumors from continuing on.