A Foreign Odyssey

Jacob Gonzalez, Sports Writer

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When the Chicago Bulls selected University of Arizona product Lauri Markkanen with the 7th overall in the 2017 NBA draft, seeking Markkanen to replace three time all-star Jimmy Butler and his 23.9 points per game left an abundance of Bulls fans scratching their heads. Since being drafted, Markkanen has been a phenomenal shooter behind the arc, banking in 101 three pointers through his first 41 games. To put that into perspective, Ray Allen, the NBA’s all time leading three point shooter, drained a total of 117 threes in his rookie season through a totaled 82 contests. Markkanen has similar statistics in only half the amount of games played. Not only is Markkanen the fourth best rookie shooter averaging 15.5 points per game, his average of 7.6 rebounds per game is second amongst all rookies as well. With rookies such as Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum balling out for their respective teams, The Finnisher, as some would call Markkanen for his Finnish roots, is in good company in terms of comparing statistics with other first year hoopers. The rookie’s ability to catch and shoot as well as finishing off the dribble gives the Chicago Bulls a building block to develop a championship team the city of Chicago knows all about.

 

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A Foreign Odyssey