According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, several teams have expressed interest in making a bid for Lauri Markkanen.
Markkanen becomes a free agent this summer and could get a big contract that the Bulls may not want to pay. He’s had a good season so far, averaging 17.7 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from the three-point line. Injuries continued to plague him, however, causing the big man to miss 20 games at this point in the season.
Despite Markkanen’s potential, it’s not surprising that the Bulls would answer his calls. He has yet to prove he can stay on the field permanently. According to K.K. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, there were whispers of a possible trade between Lauri Markkanen and Lonzo.
Since the beginning of the week: Rumors of a Laurie-for-Lonzo swap have been circulating in the league since the two teams failed to reach an agreement on extensions for rookies. Markkanen’s NO approach is a question mark, as is the fact that both teams would ask for a lot: https://t.co/injuA3S5el.
– C.K. Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 23, 2021
In addition to Markkanen, the Bulls also discussed Otto Porter Jr.
According to @JakeLFischer:
1) Some people in the Chicago Bulls front office think acquiring DeMar DeRozan could put the Bulls in the tough postseason.
2) Otto Porter Jr. is available for trade. https://t.co/FvY51nM1Y6
– Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) 23. March 2021
There have been rumors in recent weeks that the Bulls would also consider buying out Otto Porter Jr. He’s having a solid season so far, averaging 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 21.8 minutes.
It’s no surprise that the Bulls are calling on Porter Jr. because he will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Bulls clearly don’t see him as an addition to the team in the long run, given the emergence of Patrick Williams as the starting small forward. It will be interesting to see what happens to Porter between now and the deadline on Thursday.
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Many league executives believe the Bulls are in the market for a veteran who could make a big impact. One of the players who swam in the Bulls’ circle was Demar Derozan of the San Antonio Spurs.
The Cavaliers and Spurs are still hoping to trade Andre Drummond and LaMarcus Aldridge, but the buyout market for every major player has already taken shape. More on J.J. Radick, George Hill and the Bulls as secret suitors: https://t.co/Zz8WEnW02t
– Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) March 23, 2021
The addition of DeMar DeRozan would make perfect sense for the Bulls. He’s a proven veteran who can score points, which will take the pressure off Zach LaVine. Despite his big contract, the Bulls can keep up with him because Otto Porter Jr. also has a big salary of $26.63 million. Porter Jr. could be an interesting acquisition for the Spurs, who are looking to add some youth to their roster. For the Bulls, the acquisition of DeRozan could bolster their status as a postseason team, despite some reservations about his possible fit on the team.
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