Lauri Markkanen

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Lauri Markkanen
Lauri Markkanen, Cavaliers vs Rockets on December 15, 2021 (cropped).jpg
Markkanen with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2021
No. 24 – Cleveland Cavaliers
PositionSmall forward / Power forward
Personal information
Born (1997-05-22) 22 May 1997 (age 25)
Vantaa, Finland
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
CollegeArizona (2016–2017)
NBA draft2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Playing career2014–present
Career history
20172021Chicago Bulls
2021–presentCleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at

Lauri Elias Markkanen (born 22 May 1997) is a Finnish professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In the 2017 NBA draft, he was taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the seventh overall pick before being included in a trade to the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler. He is the son of Finnish basketball players Pekka and Riikka Markkanen, and the younger brother of footballer Eero Markkanen.

Early life and career

Markkanen grew up in Jyväskylä, and played his junior years in the local team, HoNsU.[1] Markkanen played for HBA-Märsky in the Finnish second-tier league from 2014 to 2016.

College career

On 17 October 2015, Markkanen verbally committed to NCAA Division I squad Arizona Wildcats prior to the 2016–17 season.[2][3][4] Lauri signed a letter to intent to Arizona on 11 November. reported that the seven-foot Finn was considered "a possible one-and-done candidate for the NBA draft."[5] He became the first player since Mike Bibby to wear the jersey number 10. In January 2017, SB Nation regarded him as "the best shooting 7-footer college basketball has ever seen".[6] Within the same month Markkanen was selected as Pac-12 Player of the Week as well as the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week.[7][8] He has also been named to the pre-season Karl Malone Award Watchlist,[9] Naismith Award Watchlist,[10] Wooden Award Watchlist,[11] Wooden Award Midseason Top 25,[12] Wayman Tisdale Award Midseason watch list, Oscar Robertson Award Midseason watch list,[13] Karl Malone Award Finalist,[14] Naismith Top 30 Finalist.[15] Markkanen was among the 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award.[16]

He recorded a career-high 30 points on 12 Jan against rival Arizona State. Also recording a career-high 13 rebounds three times against Northern Colorado, Washington State, and Washington. His career-high three blocks came against Arizona State in the regular season finale 4 March 2017.

Markkanen was selected to the third team All-American team by the Associated Press, NBC Sports, USA Today, and the Sporting News on 6 March 2017.[17] He was a 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.

At the conclusion of his freshman season, Markkanen announced his intention to forgo his final three years of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2017 NBA draft.[18]

Professional career

Chicago Bulls (2017–2021)

Markkanen was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the seventh pick of the first round of the 2017 NBA draft. On draft night, his rights were traded to the Chicago Bulls along with Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn for Jimmy Butler and the rights to Justin Patton.[19] On 5 July 2017, Markkanen signed with the Bulls.[20]

On 19 October 2017, Markkanen made his NBA debut with the Bulls and scored seventeen points.[21] Markkanen then set an NBA record on 24 October, for most 3-pointers in the first three games of an NBA career with ten 3-pointers.[22] Markkanen also asked former NBA player Brian Scalabrine to use his number 24, which Brian allowed.[23] On 30 December, Markkanen scored a career-high 32 points and seven rebounds in a 119–107 win against the Indiana Pacers.[24] On 10 January 2018, Markkanen played a career high 46 minutes, scored a career-high 33 points along with a career-high eight 3-pointers in a double overtime 122–119 win against the New York Knicks. This made him the second seven-foot player to make eight three-pointers in a game (the first being Dirk Nowitzki).[25] On 22 January, he grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds against the New Orleans Pelicans.[26] Four days later, Markkanen blocked a career-high three shots against the Los Angeles Lakers.[27]

After scoring seventeen points against the Milwaukee Bucks on 28 January 2018, Markkanen surpassed Hanno Möttölä (715) as the career leading scorer among NBA players from Finland.[28] On 22 May 2018, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.[29] He ended his rookie season leading the Bulls in rebounds with 7.5 and fourth in scoring with 15.2;[30] his 14 double-doubles was third among rookies behind Kyle Kuzma and Ben Simmons.[31]

Markkanen missed the first 23 games of the season. He had a career-high 19 rebounds in a loss to the Brooklyn Nets on 28 January. He also had 31 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Brooklyn on 8 February; a career-high 35 points along with 15 rebounds in a win over the Boston Celtics on 23 February; and 31 points and 17 rebounds in win over the Atlanta Hawks on 1 March. On 28 March, Markkanen was ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing tests for his health problems,[32] which he experienced in a 26 March game against the Toronto Raptors.[33] In the 52 games he did play, he was second on the team with 18.7 points and first with 9.0 rebounds and 20 double-doubles (fourth in the NBA).

Markkanen began the season tying a career-high with 35 points along with 17 rebounds in a one-point loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the most opening-day points by a Chicago Bull since Michael Jordan in 1995.[34]

On 30 January 2021, Markkanen scored a season-high 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field and 6-of-11 from three in a 123–122 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.[35][36][37] After the Bulls added veteran big men Daniel Theis and Nikola Vučević to their roster to fortify their frontcourt, Markkanen lost his starting spot.[38][39][40] On 29 March, Markkanen came off the bench for the first time during the season[41] and the second in his 194 career games,[42] he finished with 13 points, six rebounds and an assist across 22 minutes in a 116–102 loss to the Golden State Warriors.[41][42] Since Markkanen moved to the second unit, he has been given a limited time and has been playing the small forward position.[40][43][44] In a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on 12 April, Markkanen went scoreless for the first time in his career.[45][46][47]

Cleveland Cavaliers (2021–present)

Markkanen attempts a 3-pointer over Patty Mills in a January 2022 game

On August 28, 2021, Markkanen was acquired by the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team sign-and-trade also involving the Portland Trail Blazers.[48]

National team career

Junior national team

Markkanen made his international debut with the Finnish U-18 national team at the 2015 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship.[49] Markkanen averaged 18.2 points per game to lead the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship in the summer of 2015.[5] He was the top scorer in 2016 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship tournament with an average of 24.9 points per game and was named to the All-Tournament Team.[50]

Senior national team

Markkanen played with the Finland senior team at EuroBasket 2017, which was partly held in his home country. He led his team to the round of 16 by averaging 19.5 points and 5.7 rebounds over 6 games.[51]

Career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high


Regular season

2017–18 Chicago 68 68 29.7 .434 .362 .843 7.5 1.2 .6 .6 15.2
2018–19 Chicago 52 51 32.3 .430 .361 .872 9.0 1.4 .7 .6 18.7
2019–20 Chicago 50 50 29.8 .425 .344 .824 6.3 1.5 .8 .5 14.7
2020–21 Chicago 51 26 25.8 .480 .402 .826 5.3 .9 .5 .3 13.6
2021–22 Cleveland 61 61 30.8 .445 .358 .868 5.7 1.3 .7 .5 14.8
Career 282 256 29.7 .441 .364 .850 6.8 1.3 .7 .5 15.4


2016–17 Arizona 37 37 30.8 .492 .423 .835 7.2 .9 .4 .5 15.6

NBA records

  • Fastest player to reach 100 career 3-pointers (41 games)[52]

Personal life

He is the son of Pekka[5][53] and Riikka Markkanen (née Ellonen), who both were professional basketball players,[53][54] and has two brothers, former professional basketball player Miikka[53] and professional footballer Eero.[53] In February 2018, Markkanen and his wife Verna Aho had a son together.[55] In October 2020, their second child was born.[56]


  1. ^ "Koripallon poikkeuslahjakkuus Lauri Markkanen harjoitteli heittoja jopa ilman pakkasrajaa". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 6 March 2016.
  2. ^ "UA basketball: Finnish big man Markkanen commits". Arizona Daily Star. 17 October 2015.
  3. ^ Jeremy Woo (17 October 2015). "Finnish forward Lauri Markkanen commits to Arizona". Sports Illustrated.
  4. ^ Sam Vecenie (17 October 2015). "Finland's five-star forward Lauri Markkanen commits to Arizona". CBS Sports.
  5. ^ a b c Jeff Borzello. "Finnish big man Lauri Markkanen commits to Arizona".
  6. ^ O'Donnell, Ricky (20 January 2017). "Lauri Markkanen is the best shooting 7-footer college basketball has ever seen".
  7. ^ Star, Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily (23 January 2017). "Arizona basketball: Markkanen named Pac-12 Player of the Week". Arizona Daily Star.
  8. ^ "Arizona basketball: Lauri Markkanen named Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Arizona basketball: Lauri Markkanen named to the Karl Malone Award watch list". Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Arizona basketball: Arizona Wildcats Basketball Lauri Markkanen on preseason Naismith Award watch list". Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  11. ^ "UA-Cal State Bakersfield pregame: Markkanen named to Wooden Award Watchlist". Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  12. ^ "John R. Wooden Award Reveals 2016-17 Midseason Top 25". John R Wooden Award. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Oscar Robertson Award".
  14. ^ "Karl Malone Award".
  15. ^ "College basketball: Naismith Trophy Top 30 list announced". 9 February 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  17. ^ "2017 All Americans".
  18. ^ Bruce Pascoe (30 March 2017). "Arizona Wildcats freshman Lauri Markkanen confirms he'll leave for NBA". Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  19. ^ "Bulls acquire Dunn, LaVine and Markkanen from Minnesota". 22 June 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  20. ^ "Bulls sign Lauri Markkanen". 5 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  21. ^ "Bulls' Lauri Markkanen: Shines in debut Thursday". 20 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  22. ^ Johnson, K.C. (24 October 2017). "Lauri Markkanen sets NBA record as Bulls fall to Cavaliers 119-112". Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  23. ^ Gartland, Dan (25 October 2017). "Lauri Markkanen Asked Brian Scalabrine For Permission to Wear His Old Number". Sports
  24. ^ McGraw, Mike (30 December 2017). "As LaVine approaches return, will Bulls even try to keep things rolling?". Daily Herald. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  25. ^ Barnewall, Chris (11 January 2018). "Lauri Markkanen's eight 3-pointers are the most by a 7-footer since Dirk Nowitzki". Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  26. ^ McGraw, Mike (22 January 2018). "Bulls collapse in fourth quarter, lose in 2OT as Cousins has epic stat line". Daily Herald. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  27. ^ Martin, Josh (27 January 2018). "Brandon Ingram leads Lakers to 1st road win without Lonzo Ball, 108-103 vs. Bulls". Lonzo Wire. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  28. ^ Seligman, Andrew (28 January 2018). "Antetokounmpo scores 27, Bucks beat Bulls 110-96". Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  29. ^ "Donovan Mitchell, Ben Simmons lead 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie first team". 22 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  30. ^ "2017-18 Chicago Bulls Roster and Stats". Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  31. ^ "2017-2018 Rookies with Double-Doubles". Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  32. ^ "Lauri Markkanen Update". 27 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  33. ^ "Lauri Markkanen Update". 27 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  34. ^ "Chicago Bulls scoring 30+ points on opening day". Pro Basketball Reference. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  35. ^ Patt, Jay (30 January 2021). "Bulls vs. Blazers final score: Damian Lillard stuns Chicago at buzzer". Blog a Bull. Retrieved 16 May 2021. Markkanen poured in a season-high 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting and 6-of-11 from long distance.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  36. ^ "Lauri Markkanen leads team and scores season-high with 31 against Portland". FantasyPros. 31 January 2021. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  37. ^ Cowley, Joe (30 January 2021). "'Dame Time' dooms Bulls despite Lauri Markkanen reaching new heights". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 17 May 2021. On nights Markkanen can score a season-high 31 like he did on Saturday, the Bulls will usually find themselves in a good spot.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  38. ^ "Lauri Markkanen faces uncertain future with Bulls after shift to bench role". Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  39. ^ Bhatta, Adi (31 March 2021). "Chicago Bulls: What does a bench role mean for Lauri Markkanen?". Pippen Ain't Easy. Retrieved 6 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  40. ^ a b Cowley, Joe (8 April 2021). "New roles, new expectations for Bulls' Lauri Markkanen and Coby White". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  41. ^ a b "Bulls' Lauri Markkanen: Comes off bench Monday". Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  42. ^ a b "Bulls demote Markkanen, who believes he's a starter". Retrieved 6 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  43. ^ "Bulls' losing streak offers mix of optimism, pessimism". Retrieved 6 April 2021. Lately, in a new wrinkle, coach Billy Donovan even has been using Markkanen at small forward.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  44. ^ Cowley, Joe (3 April 2021). "Less of Lauri Markkanen this season has been more for the Bulls". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  45. ^ Patt, Jay (12 April 2021). "Bulls vs. Grizzlies final score: Chicago melts down again in ugly 101-90 loss". Blog a Bull. Retrieved 13 April 2021. Markkanen went scoreless for the first time in his career and has been largely invisible during this three-game losing streak.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  46. ^ "Observations: Bulls Flame Out in Fourth Quarter Against Grizzlies". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 13 April 2021. Lauri Markkanen's minutes took yet another dip. He logged just 16 against the Grizzlies and is now averaging 21.3 minutes in eight reserve appearances since the deadline. Worse, in those minutes, he hasn't made much an impact of late -- after going scoreless in this one, he's tallied just 13 points on 11 shots in his last three games.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  47. ^ Miller, Andrew (13 April 2021). "Chicago Bulls: 4 players that have completely disappeared of late". Pippen Ain't Easy. Retrieved 16 April 2021. In the loss to the Grizzlies on April 12, Markkanen registered zero points, seven rebounds, two assists, no steals, no blocks, and three turnovers.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  48. ^ "Cavaliers Acquire Lauri Markkanen". 28 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  49. ^ Bedore, Gary (17 September 2016). "Former KU forward Pekka Markkanen's son, Lauri, expected to excel at Arizona". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  50. ^ "All-Star Five - Lauri Markkanen is the top scorer! - FIBA U20 European Championship 2016 - FIBA U20 European Championship Division A 2016 -". Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  51. ^ "Lauri Markkanen Profile". EuroBasket 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  52. ^ "LaVine gets 18, Bulls end Miami's 7-game win streak, 119-111". 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018. Markkanen made his 100th career 3-pointer in his 41st game, the record for fastest to get to 100 in NBA history.
  53. ^ a b c d Deak, Christopher (9 November 2016). "Household rivalry: Lauri Markkanen poised to emerge as best in family". The Daily Wildcat. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  54. ^ McCullough, Drew (21 June 2017). "11 things you don't know about Arizona Wildcats star Lauri Markkanen, a projected NBA lottery pick". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  55. ^ "Seiska: Lauri Markkaselle poikavauva". (in Finnish). 1 February 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  56. ^ Schaefer, Rob (28 October 2021). "Lauri Markkanen announces birth of second child". NBC Sports Chicago. Retrieved 18 September 2021.

External links

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