The Hornets, one of the NBA’s only teams that still has cap space available, have “strong” interest in a potential offer sheet for Bulls restricted free agent forward Lauri Markkanen, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
By my unofficial count, Charlotte currently has about $14MM in projected cap room and could increase that number slightly by waiving one or more of the non-guaranteed contracts on the team’s books (Cody Martin, Caleb Martin, and Jalen McDaniels). That would likely be enough space to make a competitive bid for Markkanen and put pressure on the Bulls, who have the ability to match any offer sheet he signs.
Chicago will be hard-capped as a result of the club’s sign-and-trade deals for Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan. Accommodating a significant salary for Markkanen would potentially push the club into the tax and close to that hard cap. ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link) said following the DeRozan agreement on Tuesday that the Bulls’ team salary was about $19.5MM below the tax line and $26MM below the hard cap, with six open roster spots.
The seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft, Markkanen showed a ton of promise during his first two NBA seasons, posting a career-high 18.7 PPG and 9.0 RPG on .430/.361/.872 shooting in 52 games (32.3 MPG) in 2018/19. However, his development trajectory has leveled off since then, as he has battled a series of injuries and given the Bulls up-and-down production.
Still, the Finnish forward is only 24 years old and is a legitimate floor-spacing big man, having knocked down 40.2% of his three-point attempts this past season. Charlotte has plenty of talent in its backcourt (LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, James Bouknight) and on the wing (Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, P.J. Washington) and may view Markkanen as a nice fit up front.
If the Hornets is worried about a potential offer sheet being matched and the Bulls don’t want to risk losing Markkanen for nothing, the two sides could engage in sign-and-trade talks to ensure the seven-footer ends up in Charlotte and Chicago gets a minor asset or two in return for agreeing to let him walk. However, if Markkanen officially signs an offer sheet with the Hornets, a sign-and-trade would no longer be possible.
A restricted free agent can sign an offer sheet during the moratorium period, but the two-day matching clock doesn’t begin until the moratorium ends, so there’s no rush for Charlotte to get Markkanen to sign on the dotted line today.
For what it’s worth, a report earlier this week stated that the Spurs had interest in Markkanen in the DeRozan sign-and-trade, but weren’t comfortable meeting his asking price.
24 thoughts on “Hornets Considering Offer Sheet For Lauri Markkanen”
Please take him, terribly overrated
Down to 5 big (ish ) players left
Oubre -Schroeder -Lauri -Hart -and Reggie Jackson
Have to think Dallas is getting 1 and Id Imagine Cha too. I like Oubre for Cha better
Maybe Im a bad person but I kinda like a player or two to get shut-out at the end of free agency when the money dries up and the music stops
I’d pass on paying $15M to any of those players. 3 yrs and $36M with an option after 2 for any of them is what I’d offer. None of these dude are moving the needle.
Fair assessment, the fact they are (still) there makes that a good possibility
Players/Agents may clamor for a 1 yr prove it deal tho, but I could be cool w that as they make good trade bait later, are more incentivized in season , and minimalize risk to team
I’d offer significantly less and see which one(s) take it. It’s a buyers market now.
another over rated player who was looking to get over paid. When are sports GMs gonna wisen up and stop maxing out dime a dozen rotation players. Only player that should be making over $15-20M are great starters with high trade value. The likes of Spencer Dinwiddie, John Collins, and Evan Fournier are not it!
John Collins is NOT a rotation type of player bud. He’s a versatile two-way four/small ball 5 that can stretch the floor, he rebounds well, he can run the floor with guards in transition, and he’s an underrated passer.
Not only that, but John Collins is extremely coachable, he’s a solid team-first player, AND he adds to his game every year..
That is NOT a rotation player, while he might not be quite a MAX player yet, he’s far more than just a rotation guy..
Fournier is not making over $20 million.
Fournier makes more than 15 though
Make it an offer the bulls can’t accept please, lauri is a guy who can score and that is all, no defense no toughness(not talkin about his injuries that ish happens to everyone) no self awareness, take him and save the bulls
Markkannen for Jalen McDaniels? I could see that as being a win for both sides. But part of that will depend on whether Markkannen will snap back to reality on value–Charlotte is not gonna wanna pay top dollar and give up an asset. But the flip side is that is Lauri is treading on thin ice–spurn one too many offers and he’s a revoked QO away from playing for < $5mil (who knows, maybe Fenerbahce or Real Madrid will step up to the plate with a nice offer lol).
IMO, I think if the Wolves would do that, it’d be done already. They need a stretch 4 and defense. I think the defense, player potential timeline and cap flexibility McDaniels provides makes him more valuable to a team such as Minny.
The problem with trading Lauri Markkanen is it is going to leave a huge hole for the Bulls at the backup 4 spot, and they’ll be left with just Patrick Williams. In terms of their rotation of bigs, they’d be left with just Patrick Williams, Vucevic, now Tony Bradley, and they still might bring over Simonovic, their 2020 2nd Round draft pick.
If they trade Markkanen, and especially if Simonovic doesn’t come over, then they will need to sign a guy like Paul Millsap or Patrick Patterson, plus possibly signing another 5 like Baynes, or especially a project with some upside like Harry Giles..
Ideally, Id love for the Bulls to keep Lauri, bring over Simonovic or sign some insurance like a DJ Wilson, and then finally sign Giles to compete with Bradley to be Vucevic’s backup, and have AK call it an off-season..
Lauri, before Boylen shredded his confidence and severely ruined and stunted his growth, was still a bit inconsistent, but he was good for just about 20/10 a night.
If Donovan can have him a defined role, have Lauri buy in, and if he can get his confidence back, he and Colby could be an excellent duo as the second unit’s main offensive focal points. People too often forget, Lauri still shot 40% from deep last season..He’s a threat and a weapon, when he’s healthy, knows his role, and when he’s confident in himself. He could get the Bulls a solid 15 a night off the bench easy, but unfortunately, I think he might really need a change of scenery..
With that said, he’ll likely be traded, and in turn, the Bulls will need to find his replacement. Simonovic could be a perfect replacement for Markkanen, but it will probably take him a year or two to adjust to the NBA. Until then, they’ll need to acquire a guy like Millsap that’s reliable, and that will be able to help the second unit male plays and score off the bench.
Signing a guy like Patterson, Giles, or Baynes will probably not be difficult. I’d imagine you could get any of the three at vet’s minimum. Millsap might cost more, but not much more at this point in his career. And most of those guys you could sign deep into training camp as well.
The Bulls really need to see what they have with Patrick Williams. They invested a very high pick on him and with the amount of money committed to him and soon to be committed to him, they need to see if he can be a starter for their team or if they are going to need to cut bait. I’m not saying they should cut Williams now, but you still need to use this season to see if he can handle it.
No, he’s a 3. But I don’t see why he only gets 2 years to establish himself as a 4. He’s still 19!
Bulls need to get Millsap. Darius Miles makes 3s.
Simonivic has been in Chicago working out for the past month. According to him and his agent he’s ready to rock and roll.
I wouldn’t mind seeing lauri in Charlotte
He’s not a good scorer and shooter for the 4 spot. I can see bounce back with a new team.
People pour hate on him bc he didn’t live up to some hype after rookie season. Listen Chicago has been a mess until recently.
Don’t forget the mess the Bulls had at head coach this dudes rookie year. Definitely didn’t help.
This is a good move for Hornets. Bulls should get value for him. He’s worth Bridges and future #1 pick.
As bulls fan i love if bulls get bridges and 1st for lauri..but i dont think he worth for it.maybe macdaniels + scottie lewis.
Bridges and a first?! Maybe McDaniels and someone like Riller (I think they have up his rights. But a bench player like that) and a second or 2. Noway they get a starter and a first for him.
Agree.maybe plus scottie lewis.i love his defense ability.
Classic Al exaggeration, so when the bulls fail to get that he can blame the FO