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Bulls Extend Qualifying Offer to Lauri Markkanen

The move makes Markkanen a restricted free agent and gives the Bulls' front office time for a potential sign-and-trade deal.
Lauri Markkanen Bulls Qualifying Offer

Photo: Joe Murphy/NBA Entertainment via Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls have extended a qualifying offer to forward Lauri Markkanen. The move was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Extending a qualifying offer to Markkanen makes him a restricted free agent. The Bulls now have right of first refusal, meaning that other teams can offer Markkanen a multi-year contract, but the Bulls will have three days to match it. If they do, Markkanen remains a Bull.

Markkanen could also sign the qualifying offer, which stands at just above $9 million for the year. However, it would be surprising if the Finn signed it as he has stated he wants to test the restricted free agency waters.

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Another option the front office of Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley may have is to use the restricted free agency setup in a sign-and-trade deal. The Bulls would match an offer of another team, sign Markkanen to that deal, and then trade Markkanen to that team.

Markkanen has until October 1 to accept the offer. More to come as this story unfolds.