Markkanen with Finland in 2017
|No. 24 – Chicago Bulls|
May 22, 1997 |
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||230 lb (104 kg)|
|NBA draft||2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall|
|Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Career highlights and awards|
Lauri Elias Markkanen (born May 22, 1997) is a Finnish 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 7th 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 who plays in Danish Superliga side Randers FC.
On October 17, 2015, Markkanen verbally committed to NCAA Division I squad Arizona Wildcats prior to the 2016–17 season. Lauri signed a letter to intent to Arizona on Nov. 11th. ESPN.com reported that the seven-foot Finn is considered "a possible one-and-done candidate for the NBA draft." 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". 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. He has also been named to the pre-season Karl Malone Award Watchlist, Naismith Award Watchlist, Wooden Award Watchlist, Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, Wayman Tisdale Award Midseason watch list, Oscar Robertson Award Midseason watch list, Karl Malone Award Finalist, Naismith Top 30 Finalist. Markkanen was among the 15 finalist for the John R. Wooden Award.
He recorded a career-high 30 points on Jan. 12th against rival Arizona State. Also recording a career-high 13 rebounds 3 times against Northern Colorado(11/21/16), Washington State(1/26/17) & Washington (2/18/17). His career-high 3 blocks came against ASU in the regular season finale Mar. 4th, 2017.
Markkanen was selected to the third team All-American team in AP, NBC Sports, USA Today and Sporting News on March 6, 2017. 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.
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. On July 5, 2017, Markkanen signed with the Bulls.
On October 19, 2017, Markkanen made his NBA debut with the Chicago Bulls and scored seventeen points. Markkanen then set an NBA record on October 24, 2017, for most 3-pointers in the first three games of an NBA career with ten 3-pointers. Markkanen also asked former NBA player Brian Scalabrine to use his number 24, which Brian allowed. On December 30, 2017, Markkanen scored a career-high 32 points and seven rebounds in a 119-107 win against the Indiana Pacers. On January 10, 2018, Markkanen 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). On January 22, he grabbed a career-high seventeen rebounds against the New Orleans Pelicans. Four days later, Markkanen blocked a career-high three shots against the Los Angeles Lakers.
After scoring seventeen points against the Milwaukee Bucks on January 28, 2018, Markkanen now has 721 points, surpassing Hanno Möttölä (715) as the career leading scorer among NBA players from Finland.
Markkanen made his international debut with the Finnish U-18 national team at the 2015 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship. Markkanen averaged 18.2 points per game to lead the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship in the summer of 2015. He was the top scorer in 2016 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship tournament with average of 24.9 points per game and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
He is the son of Pekka, and Riikka Markkanen (née Ellonen), who both were professional basketball players, and has two brothers, Miikka and a professional footballer, Eero, who plays for AIK (currently on loan to Randers FC).
Markkanen made his 100th career 3-pointer in his 41st game, the record for fastest to get to 100 in NBA history.
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