KEY POINTS

  • Bulls star Lauri Markkanen is reportedly unhappy in Chicago
  • Markkanen's average dropped this season
  • Markkanen was previously linked to a trade deal for Kyle Kuzma

A Chicago Bulls star is reportedly “unhappy” with the team’s direction and is very likely to ask for a trade soon.

Prior to the suspension of NBA games due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Bulls was one of the teams who had been playing a rough season. Tallying a 22-43 record before the suspension, the team is evidently an unlikely competitor in the post-season. However, Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen has shone in the team despite its losing streak.

Markkanen had promising rookie and sophomore seasons with the Bulls. In his rookie season, he averaged an impressive 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds. He even improved those numbers to 18.7 points and 9.0 boards in his second year as a Bull. However, in his third season, those stats slightly dropped to 14.7 and 6.3 a game. One of the possible reasons behind Markkanen’s significant drop in numbers is his apparent dissatisfaction with the Bulls’ management and direction.

According to veteran Bulls insider Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times, the third-year big man is reportedly not happy in Chicago even before games were suspended due to coronavirus crisis. Cowley emphasized that if the Bulls don’t change the direction of the organization, it’s likely that the former no. 7 overall pick will opt out of the Windy City.

“Make no mistake about it, third-year big man Lauri Markkanen was one unhappy camper before the coronavirus put the NBA on hiatus. Unhappy enough that if the direction of the organization was going to stay unchanged, he’d rather be elsewhere,” Cowley said.

As a rising star, Markkanen is evidently looking forward to joining a team that is equipped with championship-caliber players. At this point, Markkanen can possibly take his talents to a team that is not so new to him – Los Angeles Lakers.

Last November, the Lakers had been linked to Markkanen via a trade proposition involving Lakers star forward Kyle Kuzma. The trade idea never progressed as both teams have not shown enough interest to make the first move. However, now that Markkanen is likely to part ways with the Bulls via his own decision, the Kuzma-Markkanen trade could finally be viable this coming offseason.

The Lakers have repeatedly been involved in trade rumors involving Kuzma in the past but had never made any concrete attempts to let go of the lethal scorer thus far. However, latest report claimed Kuzma is now being linked to another trade deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason.