Chicago Bulls’ restricted free agent forward Lauri Markkanen is garnering interest from the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Legion Hoops. The seven-footer has been reportedly been part of sign-and-trade discussions involving multiple teams since NBA free agency opened up yesterday.
The Bulls are currently in the market for wing and big-man depth. Minnesota is looking for a stretch big to pair with NBA All-Star center Karl Anthony-Towns. Markkanen could be the piece Minnesota is looking for to improve their roster. The tweet below outlines several options for a potential deal.
Last season, Markkanen posted career lows in points per game and rebounds per game. However, his shooting numbers jumped to career-high figures. A high-upside move the Bulls could make here would be asking for the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Jarret Culver. Culver hasn’t experienced much success in NBA action to date, but he could be a valuable asset on the wing with the right development plan in place.
Juan Hernangomez and Josh Okogie could be realistic targets for Chicago as well. Hernangomez is a 6-foot-9 power forward that can shoot the rock a bit to accompany a decent back-to-the-basket game. Okogie is a high-motor wing-type player with off-the-charts athleticism. With a seven-foot wingspan, Okogie could be a solid option as a lockdown defender off the bench for the Bulls.
Artūras Karnišovas and Marc Eversley have been extremely busy over the last 24 hours. After bringing in Ball and Caruso to open the free agency period, they have now shifted their focus to moving Markkanen for the players mentioned above or San Antonio Spurs’ forward DeMar DeRozan.