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Lauri Elias Markkanen (born 22 May 1997) is a Finnish professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In the 2017 NBA draft, he was taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the seventh overall pick before being included in a trade to the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler. He is the son of Finnish basketball players Pekka and Riikka Markkanen, and a brother of football player Eero Markkanen.[1]

Lauri Markkanen
EuroBasket 2017 France vs Finland 01.jpg
Markkanen with Finland in 2017
No. 24 – Chicago Bulls
PositionPower forward / Center
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1997-05-22) 22 May 1997 (age 22)
Vantaa, Finland
NationalityFinnish
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
CollegeArizona (2016–2017)
NBA draft2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Playing career2014–present
Career history
2014–2016HBA-Märsky
2017–presentChicago Bulls
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Early life and careerEdit

Markkanen grew up in Jyväskylä, and played his junior years in local team HoNsU.[2] Markkanen played for HBA-Märsky in the Finnish second-tier league from 2014 to 2016.

College careerEdit

On 17 October 2015, Markkanen verbally committed to NCAA Division I squad Arizona Wildcats prior to the 2016–17 season.[3][4][5] Lauri signed a letter to intent to Arizona on November 11. ESPN.com reported that the seven-foot Finn was considered "a possible one-and-done candidate for the NBA draft."[6] He became the first player since Mike Bibby to wear the jersey number 10. In January 2017, SB Nation regarded him as "the best shooting 7-footer college basketball has ever seen".[7] Within the same month Markkanen was selected as Pac-12 Player of the Week as well as the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week.[8][9] He has also been named to the pre-season Karl Malone Award Watchlist,[10] Naismith Award Watchlist,[11] Wooden Award Watchlist,[12] Wooden Award Midseason Top 25,[13] Wayman Tisdale Award Midseason watch list, Oscar Robertson Award Midseason watch list,[14] Karl Malone Award Finalist,[15] Naismith Top 30 Finalist.[16] Markkanen was among the 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award.[17]

He recorded a career-high 30 points on Jan 12 against rival Arizona State. Also recording a career-high 13 rebounds three times against Northern Colorado, Washington State, and Washington. His career-high three blocks came against Arizona State in the regular season finale March 4, 2017.

Markkanen was selected to the third team All-American team by the Associated Press, NBC Sports, USA Today, and the Sporting News on March 6, 2017.[18] He was a first team all Pac-12 selection, as well as first team all Pac-12 Freshman team and first team all Pac-12 team in Associated Press.

At the conclusion of his freshman season, Markkanen announced his intention to forgo his final three years of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2017 NBA draft.[19]

Professional careerEdit

Chicago Bulls (2017–present)Edit

Rookie season (2017–18)Edit

Markkanen was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the seventh pick of the first round of the 2017 NBA draft. On draft night, his rights were traded to the Chicago Bulls along with Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn for Jimmy Butler and the rights to Justin Patton.[20] On July 5, 2017, Markkanen signed with the Bulls.[21]

On October 19, 2017, Markkanen made his NBA debut with the Bulls and scored seventeen points.[22] Markkanen then set an NBA record on October 24, for most 3-pointers in the first three games of an NBA career with ten 3-pointers.[23] Markkanen also asked former NBA player Brian Scalabrine to use his number 24, which Brian allowed.[24] On November 19, he recorded a 26-13 double-double against the Phoenix Suns.[25] On December 8, Markkanen scored 24 points against the Charlotte Hornets and two weeks later on December 21, he dropped 25 points on the Cleveland Cavaliers.[26][27] On December 30, Markkanen scored a career-high 32 points and seven rebounds in a 119-107 win against the Indiana Pacers.[28] On January 10, 2018, Markkanen played a career high 46 minutes, scored a career-high 33 points along with a career-high eight 3-pointers in a double overtime 122-119 win against the New York Knicks. This made him the second seven-foot player to make eight three-pointers in a game (the first being Dirk Nowitzki).[29] On January 22, he grabbed a career-high seventeen rebounds against the New Orleans Pelicans.[30] Four days later, Markkanen blocked a career-high three shots against the Los Angeles Lakers.[31] On February 12, he scored 21 points against the Orlando Magic and 22 points against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 7.[32][33]

After scoring seventeen points against the Milwaukee Bucks on January 28, 2018, Markkanen surpassed Hanno Möttölä (715) as the career leading scorer among NBA players from Finland.[34] On May 22, 2018, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.[35] He ended his rookie season leading the Bulls in rebounds with 7.5 and fourth in scoring with 15.2;[36] his 14 double-doubles was third among rookies behind Kyle Kuzma and Ben Simmons.[37]

2018–19Edit

Markkanen missed the first 23 games of the season. He had a career-high 19 rebounds in a loss to the Brooklyn Nets on January 28. He also had 31 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Brooklyn on February 8; a career-high 35 points along with 15 rebounds in a win over the Boston Celtics on February 23; and 31 points and 17 rebounds in win over the Atlanta Hawks on March 1. On March 28, Markkanen was ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing tests for his health problems,[38] which he experienced in a March 26 game against the Toronto Raptors.[39] In the 52 games he did play, he was second on the team with 18.7 points and first with 9.0 rebounds and 20 double-doubles (fourth in the NBA).

2019-2020Edit

Markkanen began the season tying a career-high with 35 points along with 17 rebounds in a one point loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the most opening-day points by a Chicago Bull since Michael Jordan in 1995.[40]

National team careerEdit

Markkanen made his international debut with the Finnish U-18 national team at the 2015 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship.[41] Markkanen averaged 18.2 points per game to lead the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship in the summer of 2015.[6] He was the top scorer in 2016 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship tournament with an average of 24.9 points per game and was named to the All-Tournament Team.[42]

Markkanen played with the Finland senior team at EuroBasket 2017, which was held in his home country. He led his team to the round of 16 by averaging 19.5 points and 5.7 rebounds over 6 games.[43]

Career statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

NBAEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2017–18 Chicago 68 68 29.7 .434 .362 .843 7.5 1.2 .6 .6 15.2
2018–19 Chicago 52 51 32.3 .430 .361 .872 9.0 1.4 .7 .6 18.7
Career 120 119 30.9 .432 .362 .859 8.2 1.3 .6 .6 16.7

CollegeEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2016–17 Arizona 37 37 30.8 .492 .423 .835 7.2 .9 .4 .5 15.6

NBA recordsEdit

  • Fastest player to reach 100 career 3-pointers (41 games)[44]

Personal lifeEdit

He is the son of Pekka[6] and Riikka Markkanen (née Ellonen), who both were professional basketball players,[45] and has two brothers, Miikka and a professional footballer, Eero, who plays for PSM Makassar in Indonesia. In February 2018, Markkanen and his wife Verna Aho had a son together.[46]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Household rivalry: Lauri Markkanen poised to emerge as best in family". The Daily Wildcat. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Koripallon poikkeuslahjakkuus Lauri Markkanen harjoitteli heittoja jopa ilman pakkasrajaa". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 6 March 2016.
  3. ^ "UA basketball: Finnish big man Markkanen commits". Arizona Daily Star. 17 October 2015.
  4. ^ Jeremy Woo (17 October 2015). "Finnish forward Lauri Markkanen commits to Arizona". Sports Illustrated.
  5. ^ Sam Vecenie (17 October 2015). "Finland's five-star forward Lauri Markkanen commits to Arizona". CBS Sports.
  6. ^ a b c Jeff Borzello. "Finnish big man Lauri Markkanen commits to Arizona". ESPN.com.
  7. ^ O'Donnell, Ricky (20 January 2017). "Lauri Markkanen is the best shooting 7-footer college basketball has ever seen". SBNation.com.
  8. ^ Star, Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily (23 January 2017). "Arizona basketball: Markkanen named Pac-12 Player of the Week". Arizona Daily Star.
  9. ^ "Arizona basketball: Lauri Markkanen named Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week". AZDesertSwarm.com. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Arizona basketball: Lauri Markkanen named to the Karl Malone Award watch list". AZDesertSwarm.com. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Arizona basketball: Arizona Wildcats Basketball Lauri Markkanen on preseason Naismith Award watch list". AZDesertSwarm.com. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  12. ^ "UA-Cal State Bakersfield pregame: Markkanen named to Wooden Award Watchlist". Tucson.com. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  13. ^ "John R. Wooden Award Reveals 2016-17 Midseason Top 25". John R Wooden Award. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Oscar Robertson Award".
  15. ^ "Karl Malone Award".
  16. ^ "College basketball: Naismith Trophy Top 30 list announced". NCAA.com. 9 February 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  17. ^ "JOHN R. WOODEN AWARD".
  18. ^ "2017 All Americans".
  19. ^ Bruce Pascoe (30 March 2017). "Arizona Wildcats freshman Lauri Markkanen confirms he'll leave for NBA". tucson.com. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  20. ^ "Bulls acquire Dunn, LaVine and Markkanen from Minnesota". NBA.com. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  21. ^ "Bulls sign Lauri Markkanen". NBA.com. 5 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Bulls' Lauri Markkanen: Shines in debut Thursday". cbssports.com. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  23. ^ Johnson, K.C. (24 October 2017). "Lauri Markkanen sets NBA record as Bulls fall to Cavaliers 119-112". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  24. ^ Gartland, Dan (25 October 2017). "Lauri Markkanen Asked Brian Scalabrine For Permission to Wear His Old Number". Sports Illustrated.com.
  25. ^ Johnson, K.C. (19 November 2017). "Lauri Markkanen 'phenomenal,' but Bulls lose to Suns 113-105". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  26. ^ Ostrowski, Matt (8 December 2017). "Chicago Bulls Lauri Markkanen is the player of the game". Pippen Ain't Easy. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  27. ^ Cowley, Joe (22 December 2017). "Lauri Markkanen's new way of life? Attack, attack, attack, attack ..." Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  28. ^ McGraw, Mike (30 December 2017). "As LaVine approaches return, will Bulls even try to keep things rolling?". Daily Herald. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  29. ^ Barnewall, Chris (11 January 2018). "Lauri Markkanen's eight 3-pointers are the most by a 7-footer since Dirk Nowitzki". cbssports.com. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  30. ^ McGraw, Mike (22 January 2018). "Bulls collapse in fourth quarter, lose in 2OT as Cousins has epic stat line". Daily Herald. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  31. ^ Martin, Josh (27 January 2018). "Brandon Ingram leads Lakers to 1st road win without Lonzo Ball, 108-103 vs. Bulls". Lonzo Wire. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  32. ^ McGraw, Mike (13 February 2018). "Win or lose, Bulls can succeed by getting Markkanen more shots". Daily Herald. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  33. ^ Seligman, Andrew (8 March 2018). "Bulls hang on down stretch, beat Grizzlies 119-110". AP News. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  34. ^ Seligman, Andrew (28 January 2018). "Antetokounmpo scores 27, Bucks beat Bulls 110-96". www.msn.com. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  35. ^ "Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons lead 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie first team". NBA.com. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  36. ^ "2017-18 Chicago Bulls Roster and Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  37. ^ "2017-2018 Rookies with Double-Doubles". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  38. ^ "Lauri Markkanen Update". NBA.com. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  39. ^ "Lauri Markkanen Update". NBA.com. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  40. ^ "Chicago Bulls scoring 30+ points on opening day". Pro Basketball Reference. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  41. ^ Bedore, Gary (17 September 2016). "Former KU forward Pekka Markkanen's son, Lauri, expected to excel at Arizona". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  42. ^ "All-Star Five - Lauri Markkanen is the top scorer! - FIBA U20 European Championship 2016 - FIBA U20 European Championship Division A 2016 - FIBA.com". FIBA.com. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  43. ^ "Lauri Markkanen Profile". EuroBasket 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  44. ^ "LaVine gets 18, Bulls end Miami's 7-game win streak, 119-111". ESPN.com. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018. Markkanen made his 100th career 3-pointer in his 41st game, the record for fastest to get to 100 in NBA history.
  45. ^ McCullough, Drew (21 June 2017). "11 things you don't know about Arizona Wildcats star Lauri Markkanen, a projected NBA lottery pick". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  46. ^ "Seiska: Lauri Markkaselle poikavauva". is.fi (in Finnish). 1 February 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.

External linksEdit