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#pounditSunday, September 19, 2021

Bulls’ new regime committed to Lauri Markkanen’s development

Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen got the short end of the stick this season with the Chicago Bulls, but the team’s new management is committed to ensuring that it doesn’t happen again.

Speaking with reporters on Saturday, new Bulls executive Arturas Karnisovas expressed the team’s dedication to developing Markkanen.

“We’ve spoken to Lauri numerous times,” he said, per Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. “He’s been very patient, stayed in the market. His family is now with him. I spoke to him about last year. He’s eager to get back to the gym and improve. He was disappointed by the overall result [last season].

“Every player wants to win,” Karnisovas continued. “He’s about winning, as well. Our objective is to get the best version of Lauri next year. We agreed in conversations that this is our objective, and we’re going to try to do it. I’ll look forward to meeting him face-to-face. Before accountability, I have to have a personal relationship with him.”

Markkanen, 23, regressed noticeably this past season, averaging a lackluster 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He struggled to find his footing in the team’s offense and also logged a career-low in shot attempts per game.

It sure did not sound like head coach Jim Boylen was particularly sensitive to Markkanen’s concerns about getting touches either, but at least the Bulls’ new front office seems to recognize that they need to do better by him.


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