Lauri Elias Markkanen is a Finnish professional basketball player who plays for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Markkanen decided to play his college basketball for the NCAA Division I squad Arizona Wildcats and was already considered as a one and done candidate for the NBA Draft. So much so that SB Nation regarded him as the best shooting 7-foot college basketball player they have ever seen.
Markkanen scored a career-high 30 points against their rivals Arizona State and was amongst the 15 players finalized for the John R. Wooden Award. At the end of his freshman year, Markkanen was selected to the third team All-American team in AP, NBC Sports, USA Today and Sporting News. He also added his name to the first team all Pac-12 selection, as well as first team all Pac-12 Freshman team and first team all Pac-12 team in Associated Press.
Markkanen was drafted as the 7th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was traded to the Chicago Bulls along with Zack LaVine and Kris Dunn on draft night in exchange for All-Star Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton. On his NBA debut, Markkanen scored 17 points. He set an NBA record for most three-pointers in the first three games of an NBA career with 10 threes. He scored a career-high 33 points in a double overtime 122-119 win against the New York Knicks. With 8 three-pointers in the game, Markkanen became the second seven-footer to achieve the feat, after Dirk Nowitzki. Markkanen averaged 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists for the season shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from beyond the arc and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
Markkanen made his international debut at the 2015 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship with the Finnish U-18 national team and lead the championship in the summer of 2015 with 18.2 points per game. He was the top scorer in 2016 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship averaging 24.9 points per game and was named to the All-Tournament Team.