Bulls News: John Paxson Talks Fred Hoiberg, Lauri Markkanen, Draft Strategy

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 12, 2018

CHICAGO,IL : Here are t-shirts of the Chicago Bulls with the classic bulls logo that will be given to each person in attendance against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center During Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 10, 2015 in Chicago,Illinois NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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After finishing off a 27-55 season on Wednesday, Chicago Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson addressed the future of head coach Fred Hoiberg, rookie Lauri Markkanen's debut campaign and the team's potential draft strategy. 

Per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Paxson said on Thursday that Hoiberg will "absolutely" return for his fourth season. 

Markkanen, who was selected No. 7 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves before his rights were traded to the Bulls as part of the Jimmy Butler trade, had a solid debut season. The 20-year-old averaged 15.2 points and team-high 7.5 rebounds in 68 games. 

Paxson was very pleased with Markkanen's performance, telling reporters the Finland native is a "foundational piece" for the Bulls to build around.

While the Bulls won't know where they are picking in the draft until the lottery on May 16, Paxson did indicate they are targeting a wing player to boost their roster.

"That would be an ideal spot," he told reporters. "Size and length and a shooting and defensive component at the wing."

This was the first year of Chicago's rebuilding process after trading Butler. They started this season as the fifth-youngest team in the NBA with an average age of 25 years old.

The Bulls' 27 wins and .329 winning percentage from the 2017-18 season were tied for the seventh-worst marks in franchise history. Markkanen, Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis are all 24 years old or younger. 

Since taking over as head coach before the 2015-16 season, Hoiberg has led the Bulls to one playoff appearance in which they lost in six games to the Boston Celtics last year.


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