The situation of Lauri Markkanen is growing intriguing as day goes by.
Markkanen is a 24-year-old professional basketball player from Finland, and a favorite of gambling fans according to https://www.kasinotilmanrekisteröitymistä.com/. He was from the University of Arizona and was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the no. 7 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He was then traded that same day to the Chicago Bulls, where he spent the entire four years of his career.
Three years ago, the 7-footer Markkanen was considered one of the best prospects in the NBA. He was chosen as part of the All-NBA Rookie First Team in 2018. He was ranked by ESPN as 13th among NBA players younger than 25 years old in 2019. Despite being a big man, he left the Chicago Bulls ranked as the sixth all-time three-pointers made in the team’s franchise history making 493 three pointers. He was also the fastest player in the history of the league to hit 100 three pointers.
Despite having a productive rookie and sophomore season with the Chicago Bulls, Markkanen’s development became stagnant. His productivity began decreasing and he started to pick up and suffered several injuries.
In 2020, the Chicago Bulls overturned their entire front office as well as the majority of the coaching staff. The condition of Markkanen’s fate on the team began reaching different conclusions than the previous administration. His playing time began decreasing and his spot in the starting line-up was lost.
For many players this deep into free agency, the lack of available money on the market means that they can be and will be offered to sign at a bargain price.
Now, Markkanen is a restricted free agent. If Markkanen is to receive an offer, the Chicago Bulls can match the offer. The Bulls will have 48 hours to match the other teams offer if Markkanen will sign with another team. Having this condition, the team offering him will have a disadvantage as their cap space will be temporarily tied up while waiting for the Bulls to answer.
With the current signings in the free agency, most of the teams do not have the cap space available to sign Markkanen outright. The Oklahoma City Thunder do have cap space available but the team is not interested in signing Markkanen.
Another reason why Markkanen is still in free agency is the issue that the Bulls are facing right now regarding the tampering. The NBA is investigating the team for tampering due to the quick agreement of sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to get Lonzo Ball. With the Chicago Bulls currently being investigated, the other teams could not possibly make a sign-and-trade for Markkanen.
Markkanen could return to the Chicago Bulls for a qualifying offer of $9 million for only one year. He could snatch that offer up if he wants to play for the Bulls this season and enter 2022 as an unrestricted free agent.
As the preseason is just a few weeks away, Markkanen is running out of time and options to find a new home. The last hope of Markkanen is that there will be a team that is willing to sign-and-trade for him even if the team is over the salary cap threshold.