Lauri Markkanen Signs Chicago Bulls Rookie Contract

The Chicago Bulls have officially signed their first-round pick Lauri Markkanen, the team announced Wednesday.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

Markannen was taken by the Bulls with the No. 7 overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft as part of the deal that sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The 7-footer is known for his offensive game, which helped him average 15.6 points per game in his freshman season at Arizona. He impressively knocked down 42.3 percent of his shots from three-point range, making him one of the top shooters in the class at any position.

As a European big man who can shoot from the outside, comparisons to Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki have been made.

“I hear a lot of comparisons to Dirk so of course I watched him when I was growing up, especially when I started getting taller,” Markkanen said, per Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune. “I was more watching guards because I played the 2 (guard spot) and 3 when I was a little bit younger.”

Considering the Bulls finished last year ranked 24th in three-point percentage and 28th in made threes, the Finnish big man can be a big help next season with his ability to stretch the floor.

Chicago will look much different in 2017-18 without Butler, Rajon Rondo and others, but Markkanen could be the first piece in the new rebuilding process.

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from Bleacher Report – NBA


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