Last offseason, Lauri Markkanen was up for a contract extension with the Chicago Bulls, yet the two sides were never able to reach an agreement. Multiple reports said that they were millions apart on a potential deal, which could mean that Markkanen will look to maximize his value as a restricted free agent this NBA offseason. He will be a name to monitor in NBA rumors as a result.
The Bulls could probably afford losing Markkanen since they have Thaddeus Young and newly acquired All-Star Nikola Vucevic in their frontcourt, but no team ever likes to let their players walk without getting some kind of value in return.
If Lauri Markkanen wishes to not return to Chicago in the offseason, they could look to execute a sign-and-trade to at least try and salvage some value from the young forward. With not much cap space to go out and sign players in free agency this upcoming offseason, the Minnesota Timberwolves will be looking for ways to increase the talent on their roster, which is why they could be a prime candidate to land Markkanen.
With Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards all healthy, this team has actually played pretty well down the stretch-run of the season, but they are in need of some frontcourt help. Jaden McDaniels is a young forward that is still growing, but outside of him, they do not possess much talent underneath.
This is why Lauri Markkanen could be a target for the Minnesota Timberwolves and be a key, young talent that they need to finally flip the script and start winning games for once! Let’s take a look at a hypothetical offseason trade presented by Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz that would send Lauri Markkanen to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Ricky Rubio and some more compensation.