Bulls Insider: 'Don't Rule Out' Knicks Making Lauri Markkanen Contract Offer

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2021

Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

The New York Knicks could be a potential landing spot for Lauri Markkanen this offseason as he heads into restricted free agency, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.  

"Don't rule out an offer from these same Knicks," Cowley wrote after a two-game split between the Chicago Bulls and Knicks.

New York head coach Tom Thibodeau has reportedly "always been a big fan" of the forward and could look to bring Markkanen aboard after the Bulls failed to sign him to a long-term extension last offseason.

The 23-year-old will certainly get a lot of attention in the summer after a big start to the 2020-21 season.

Through 13 games, Markkanen is averaging 19.6 points while shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from three-point range, all of which would be career highs over a full season.

His 61.9 effective field-goal percentage currently ranks ninth in the NBA, per Basketball Reference.

The 2017 lottery pick has often flashed the ability of a versatile offensive weapon throughout his career but is starting to show more consistency in his fourth season.

It could make him a fit with the Knicks, who must continue adding offense after ranking dead last in the NBA in points per game entering Thursday. 

Julius Randle is currently starring at the 4, but he is expected to draw interest in the trade market, per Bleacher Report's A Sherrod Blakely. The Knicks could deal him away and clear up space for Markkanen to play along with rookie Obi Toppin in the frontcourt.