Fantasy Basketball Dynasty: Checking in on Lauri Markkanen
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
As many of you know, I am a HUGE Fantasy Basketball Dynasty Lauri Markkanen fan. Some people would even go as far to say that he's my "boy". Even though I'm not a Chicago Bulls fan, I love Lauri's game. His mentality and tenacity on the court is second to none. His shooting touch is a thing of beauty and I truly believe he hasn't reached his ceiling, yet. CALL ME CRAZY, but his game and frame reminds me a lot of Dirk Nowitzki. Not only is Lauri the same height as Dirk at 7'0, but his scoring ability, versatility, length, and accurate outside shooting is CLASSIC Nowitzki. At the YOUNG age of 22, he is going to be a PROBLEM for NBA defenses for YEARS.
The stats he put up at Arizona are almost IDENTICAL to the stats he's putting up in the NBA - Solid Points, FG%, 3PM, Rebounds, and FT%. His Assists, Steals, and Blocks remain lackluster, BUT his game has translated SMOOTHLY from college to the NBA.
Here's a look at what he's done so far in his 3-year NBA career:
Rookie Year: In 68 games, he averaged 15.2 PTS on 43%, 2.1 3PM, 7.5 REB, 1.2 AST, 0.6 STL, and 0.6 BLK.
Sophomore Year: In 52 games, he averaged 18.7 PTS on 43%, 2.3 3PM, 9.0 REB, 1.4 AST, 0.7 STL, and 0.6 BLK.
Through the first 10 games of his 3rd year: 14.9 PTS on 39%, 1.7 3PM, 7.4 REB, 2.1 AST, 1.0 STL, and 0.5 BLK
Oof. Needless to say, Markkanen is STRUGGLING across the board to start the year. Even though his assists and steals totals are UP, his value mostly comes from the points, rebounds, and 3-pointers he provides. I had sky-high expectations for the 3rd year big man out of Arizona. If you recall, I had written an article before the season started highlighting our Potential Breakouts and Busts. I made the prediction that Markannen would provide Top-50 value in ALL scoring formats.
Here's his current rankings:
9-Cat Leagues: #82
Points Leagues: #56
It's true, he struggled to stay healthy over the first two years of his NBA career, BUT he is 100% healthy following the first 10 games of the season, and he looks primed to BOUNCE BACK from his lackluster start of the season. Despite the slow start, he is still close to returning Top-50 value in 9-cat scoring formats AND is returning Top-40 numbers in Points Leagues. Sure, the first game he played this season was against the lowly Hornets where he WENT OFF to the tune of 35 points, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal, BUT we can't completely throw that game out the window because that's the potential he possesses!
If there was ever a time to get Lauri Markannen at a discounted price, it's RIGHT NOW. Even though he has struggled to begin the year, he's CLOSE to returning his draft day ADP (47 - Late 4th). Now that the Bulls are a PUTRID 3-7, I'm expecting Lauri to be more aggressive and demand the ball more. With more usage, comes MASSIVE opportunity. His low FG% is a bit of an outlier, so if he can raise that FG% even a few percentage points, his points and 3-pointers will inevitably spike up, too. Kick the tires and see what you'd have to give up to receive Lauri's services. With LaVine averaging around 17 Field Goal Attempts per game, it will be a bit difficult for Markannen to create more shots for himself at this rate. Hopefully the Bulls change up their game plan and get the ball in Markannen's hands more. He is an ALPHA and deserves to grab the proverbial "Bull by the horns" and take over as the #1 option on this team.
Despite the slow start from Markannen, he is STILL ONLY 22 years old. He hasn't even TOUCHED his ceiling, yet. For all of you redraft AND dynasty owners, see if you can pry him away from an impatient owner. I own him in a few dynasty leagues, and I'm personally not trading him away, BUT there could be owners out there who are willing to cut bait for a player who is currently over-achieving. I for one am PUMPED to see the eventual turn-around of Markannen, and I hope you don't miss the boat on owning him!
If you need help figuring out what you should offer for Markkannen or if you need any help in general, you can send us a message on the website or you can tweet at us any time!
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God bless you!
Jacob W. Dunne