Date of Birth: May 22nd, 1997
Position: Power Forward
College: University of Arizona
Measurements: 7’0, 225 lbs
Lauri Markkanen is a very talented shooter and given his height, that is very valuable in today’s NBA. That alone will earn him minutes in the league. Lauri’s only strength isn’t his shooting though. He actually moves quite well for his size and can post-up on the block and then use his nice fade-away to shoot over the defender.
Markkanen’s future is still as a pick and pop player. As you can see in the play below, he thrives off of that play:
You can easily envision him running this play with a point guard at the next level consistently. He’ll need to set a better initial screen since he will be going up against more intelligent defenders and they’ll be able to switch more effectively.
Markkanen completed some very impressive dunks this year as well. He has NBA level athleticism for a 7 footer without a doubt. His athleticism coupled with his shooting ability makes him a very attractive piece to add in this draft for many teams.
Lauri’s greatest weakness is his defensive capabilities. Lauri only had 19 blocks all year with just 7 of them coming at the rim. If teams are selecting a 7’0 big man, they are assuming that he also has some rim-protecting ability. That just isn’t the case for Markkanen. He is going to need to work on his defensive abilities if he wants a long and fruitful career.
Another weakness for Markkanen is his size. He can’t be bullied around in the paint and to avoid that, he will need to put on some mass.
For someone of Markkanen’s height, it is very common that they can deal with foot and lower body injuries. While Lauri played in every single one of Arizona’s games this year, he was said to have dealt with a lot of ailments throughout the year. We will see if Lauri can avoid the injury bug once he gets to the league, but many in the past with his stature have not been able to.
Lauri Markkanen is the only forward in the NCAA this year to shoot 49% from the field, 42% from deep (Minumum of 100 3PA), and 83% from the line.
This comparison was an easy one and I am sure it’s one that everyone was thinking. We still don’t know just how good Porzingis can be, but when watching Markkanen play it is hard to deny the similarities that they have. Both are extremely long and have a great shooting stroke from all around the arc. Markkanen and Porzingis both aren’t quick and are a bit too lean meaning that they can get bullied in the post. Kristaps has already proven that he is a very valuable asset and a great player in the league and Markkanen will have the chance to do the same thing next season.
Between Picks 5 and 10