The Chicago Bulls‘ restricted free agent Lauri Markkanen may already be auditioning for his next team.
The 7-footer took to Instagram to post an impressive display of athleticism.
Lauri Markkanen Can Dunk From the Free-Throw Line…In a Gym By Himself
I’m partially kidding about Markkanen auditioning for his next team, but when you take off from the free-throw line in a gym by yourself, record it and post it to social media, you’re obviously trying to get someone’s attention.
Take a look at the hops from Markkanen, which was originally posted on his IG story, but captured by Bulls insider Daniel Greenberg.
Bulls fans probably aren’t totally shocked to see Markkanen cover some distance in the air. After all, we’ve seen him go to the basket with ferocity on occasion.
Some may remember this vicious slam in the face of his future teammate Nikola Vucevic.
Most would agree, these moments of aggression were a little too few and far between for Markkanen.
In any case, we’ve probably seen the last of him in a Bulls uniform, unless Chicago decides to wait until next season’s trade deadline to move Markkanen.
Markkanen’s Name is a Hot One in the Trade Rumors Circle
The Bulls will have to make a decision on Markkanen very soon. With the NBA season in the books, the moratorium on free-agent discussions and the NBA Draft are just around the corner.
A team(s) will be approaching Markkanen with an offer sheet soon. He is likely to sign the most lucrative offer, and the Bulls will have to decide whether to match it, or to lose him for nothing.
The latter seems like an unlikely scenario, so a sign-and-trade move is a possibility. In that situation, the Bulls would essentially match an offer extended to Markkanen, but with the agreement to trade him to the team that generated the offer sheet.
The Golden State Warriors have been mentioned as a potential trade partner with Kelly Oubre a potential fit. Long-time Bulls analyst Sam Smith doesn’t seem to like the idea for multiple reasons. He recently wrote:
I’ve never been much of an Oubre fan because he’s such an inconsistent, streaky shooter and almost oblivious as a playmaker. He’s an excellent defender with some size and toughness, but seems to me too much of a luxury for a team like the Bulls with more immediate needs.
Because Markkanen may be the Bulls’ most valuable trade chip this offseason, it seems strange to imagine them including him in a deal that doesn’t address their biggest need.
It is no secret, the Bulls need a point guard. There are several options available via trade or free agency. Perhaps the most attractive one would see the Bulls sending Markkanen to the San Antonio Spurs, a team that was reported to be interested in him, in exchange for DeJounte Murray.
While not a lights-out shooter, Murray is one of the league’s best defensive point guards, and that is an area where the Bulls struggled mightily in 2020-21. Murray and Zach LaVine are also close having both come from the Seattle area.
In fact, LaVine liked an image that photoshopped Murray in a Bulls uniform on social media. That move would be the best way to get the most out of Markkanen’s value.
Perhaps The Finnisher can unleash his free-throw-line slams for head coach George Popovich.