The Spurs Are Expected to Make a "Strong Offer" for Lauri Markkanen This Offseason

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The Spurs Are Expected to Make a “Strong Offer” for Lauri Markkanen This Offseason

Chicago Bulls

A future between the Chicago Bulls and Lauri Markkanen feels as good as gone. Sure, things can always change in the NBA, but based on the trade deadline rumors and his recent demotion, things are surely trending in that direction.

The big man has also scored in single-digits in four-straight games for the first time in his career, averaging just 19.6 minutes per game over that stretch. I think it’s fair to say if the organization viewed him as an important part of their future, they wouldn’t allow that to happen, even if he was struggling to make an impact.

Still, the Bulls will have the option to match any contract thrown his way this offseason, and who’s to say after this underwhelming 2020-21 season that the best offer isn’t low enough for the Bulls to feel comfortable paying? Oh … I guess the San Antonio Spurs can say that.

According to Bleacher Report’s A. Sherrod Blakely, some high-ranking folks around the league believe that the Spurs have their sights set on the 23-year-old big man (emphasis mine).

It remains to be seen if Markkanen will accept a reserve role beyond this season or pursue a more prominent role elsewhere.

The pool of teams that will have the salary-cap space to make a run at Markkanen is limited, but multiple executives and scouts anticipate the San Antonio Spurs will make a strong offer this summer.

Without LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio has a need for a stretch big with Markkanen’s size and skill set.

Again, we don’t quite know exactly the kind of money Markkanen will draw in free agency, but we do know that the Spurs will have plenty of spending power this offseason. ESPN’s Bobby Marks listed them as one of the only three teams to potentially reach over $40 million dollars in cap space in the coming months. More specifically, Basketball Insiders has put the possible number at as high as $50.6 million.
In a small market, the Spurs will not normally be in line for the league’s top free agents, so scooping up a still promising 23-year-old stretch big could be a smart move. Markkanen is desperately in need of a change of scenery and what better place than one of the top player development franchises in the league?
This will surely be something to monitor as the offseason nears.


Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.