Lauri Markkanen hasn’t been in the Bulls’ starting lineup since March, but the power forward doesn’t consider himself a second-unit player, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. “I still believe I’m a starter in this league,” he said. Markkanen is headed to free agency — the Bulls will have to extend him a $9MM qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent.
We have more from the Central Division:
- The Bulls trailed the Wizards by three games for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference entering Monday’s action. However, coach Billy Donovan said that holding out key players and going into tank mode hasn’t been discussed with executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “No, I haven’t had any conversations like that,” Donovan said.
- Dylan Windler‘s latest injury will probably prevent him from playing in the Summer League, but the Cavaliers swingman could be cleared by the start of next season. That’s the conclusion of medical professionals contacted by The Athletic’s Kelsey Russo regarding Windler’s left knee surgery. He went under the knife last month to address ongoing patellar tendinopathy concerns. The typical recovery time for that type of surgery is about four months for an elite-level athlete, Russo was told.
- The Cavaliers are listing seven players as out for Tuesday’s game, including Darius Garland, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Cleveland has been granted a hardship exception due to its injury issues.