The Bulls’ ongoing dysfunction may soon cost them one of their few bright spots.
Lauri Markkanen wants out of Chicago if the Bulls don’t pull themselves out of the mud, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The third-year Finnish forward was “one unhappy camper” before the NBA suspended its season because of the coronavirus outbreak, the report said, so much so that “if the direction of the organization was going to stay unchanged, he’d rather be elsewhere.”
The Bulls have signaled changes at the top are coming, as they have begun a search for a new top executive “with full authority on basketball decisions,” ESPN reported Friday. Gar Forman has been the team’s general manager since 2009 with John Paxson serving as vice president of basketball operations. Since the much-maligned Jim Boylen took over as head coach last season, after Fred Hoiberg was fired, the Bulls are 39-84.
The 22-year-old Markkanen had taken a step back this season before it was put on hold. He was averaging 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while shooting 34.4 percent from deep. The 7-footer was an All-Rookie selection in 2017-18 and averaged 18.7 points and nine rebounds per game last season.
The Bulls are 71-158 since drafting Markkanen seventh overall in 2017.