Lauri Markkanen has a knack for staying even-keeled, but he was all smiles Thursday as he walked on stage and shook NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s hand at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The former Arizona Wildcat was selected 7th overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Bulls acquired the pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a trade for All-Star guard Jimmy Butler.
Markkanen is the 70th Arizona Wildcat to be drafted and the 22nd Wildcat to be selected in the first round.
He is also just the second player from Finland ever to be drafted in the NBA as well as the only current Finnish player in the league.
Markkanen joins a Bulls team that went 41-41 and made the playoffs last season. However, Chicago appears to be set for a rebuild, having acquired Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn for Butler.
Markkanen averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in his lone season at Arizona, shooting 49.2 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from 3, making a case to be college basketball’s best shooting big man ever.
His shooting stroke should translate immediately to the NBA game, though he does have room to improve as a defender and rebounder.
Markkanen will suit up in a Bulls jersey for the first time on July 8 in Las Vegas Summer League.
Three reasons to love Lauri Markkanen
Lauri is off to the Chicago BullsPosted by AZ Desert Swarm on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire