No Extension Agreement For Bulls, Lauri Markkanen

4:58pm: There will be no extension agreement today for the Bulls and Markkanen, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll become a restricted free agent in 2021.

10:20am: Although the Bulls and Lauri Markkanen have both publicly expressed a desire to work out a contract extension for the fourth-year forward, it appears unlikely that the two sides will agree to a deal by Monday’s deadline barring a “dramatic change,” says K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype first reported on Saturday that the Bulls and Markkanen were far apart in extension negotiations. According to Johnson, conversations about a potential deal continued on Sunday, but “sputtered on life support.” The gap between the two sides remains significant, sources tell NBC Sports Chicago.

Markkanen is coming off a season in which he averaged 14.7 PPG and 6.3 RPG on .425/.344/.824 shooting in 50 games (29.8 MPG). While those numbers aren’t bad, he put up much better stats in an injury-shortened 2018/19 campaign (18.7 PPG, 9.0 RPG, .430/.361/.872 shooting).

The promise that Markkanen showed in his first two NBA seasons and the step back he took in ’19/20 are at odds when it comes to negotiating his value for the next three or four seasons. Markkanen’s reps, making a case for a lucrative deal, will likely point to those ’18/19 stats and argue that the 23-year-old is poised for a bounce-back season under new head coach Billy Donovan. The Bulls, meanwhile, will push for a team-friendly rate following Markkanen’s down year.

According to Johnson, there was a sense that Markkanen might be willing to take a modest “hometown” discount to gain some long-term security and ensure his family’s happiness in Chicago. However, if that’s the case, it sounds like the sides may not agree on what exactly that hometown discount looks like.

If Markkanen doesn’t sign a rookie scale extension by today’s deadline, he’ll be on track to reach restricted free agency in 2021.

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11 thoughts on “No Extension Agreement For Bulls, Lauri Markkanen

  1. Sillivan

    It’s impossible to figure out Lauri true value

    Between David Bertans and Kuzma?
    Bulls would say no

    2 years $30m

    Bulls have 20 million cap room to wait for him in summer

  2. south side hit men

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I trust that management will get this correct. He’s a fine player, but if he were traded today because he isn’t what the new staff wants, so be it.

  3. El Don

    80MM/4 years… seems reasonable to me, no way CHI can try to go any lower than 70MM/4 that is gotta be the bottom offer, right?

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    This is bad negotiation for Bulls. His down yr has more to do with team offense. And management, coach scenarios. To play gms with a nice young talent is bad business. They should just give him less yrs for good money. Like they did with Kuzma. Not piss him off and hurt team chemistry. Even if they don’t want to pay. He has good value around the league. Why mess with that. You will have no problem trading him. You have to sign him to have that option.

  5. Jason Lancaster

    There are only two moves.

    Option #1 is to overpay and hope Markkanen plays up to his contract. If you believe in the player, his motivations, etc., this is what you do. Better to overpay today than let him become an RFA and *really* overpay.

    Option #2 is to see if you can get him to sign for cheap. If you can, great. If not, you make a plan to trade him for a first rounder (or more, if you can get it), showcase him to generate interest, and try again with another prospect.

    Either Chicago isn’t really interested in paying market rates for Markkanen (because they don’t believe in him), or the front office has no idea what he’s worth. Both of those statements can be true, of course.

    • south side hit men

      Overpay and hope? Absolutely not. No point reading further. Nobody on this team is worth over paying for. Until the new regime knows what they have and what Billy wants

      • Jason Lancaster

        Like I said, if the team doesn’t overpay now, they’ll overpay even more later or lose him for nothing.

        Also, the Bulls are not good at any aspect of the NBA. They’re not good at drafting, they’re not good at player development, they’re not good at managing free agency, etc. If any part of you is thinking “The Bulls made the right move,” you should be second guessing yourself. :)

        • x%sure

          Cmon man, it’s your team, get to option #2.
          Not that there is a good option.

          It was reported Markannon was homesick. He says that’s all behind him now. Maybe he got tired of the old HC calling superfluous timeouts. I think he would rather the team follow his own quirky initiatives. 3/$54

  6. Special Agent

    Not a Bulls fan yet if I were I’d hope a deal gets done. I would not want to lose him. LM has room to improve yet he is better than he showed last season and I think he’ll prove it in 2020-21.

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