- Personal Information:
- Full Name: Lauri Elias Markkanen
- Nicknames: The Finnisher, Lauri Legend, Lauri Bird, The Marksman
- Pronunciation: \LAU-ree MARK-a-nin\
- Date of Birth: May 22, 1997
- Age: 26 years
- Birthplace: Vantaa, Finland
- Pekka Markkanen
- Riikka Markkanen
- Eero Markkanen (footballer)
- Relationship: Married to Verna Aho (since 2017)
- Children: Two
- Career Information:
- Current Team: Utah Jazz
- Position: Power Forward, Small Forward, Center
- Jersey Number: #23
- Previous Teams:
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Arizona Wildcats (College)
- College Team: Arizona Wildcats
- High School: Helsinki Academy in Helsinki, Finland
- NBA Draft:
- Year: 2017
- Round: 1
- Pick: 7
- Drafted by: Minnesota Timberwolves
- NBA Debut: October 19, 2017
- Experience: 6 years
- Current Team: Utah Jazz
- Physical Details:
- Height: 2.13 m (7-0)
- Weight: 109 kg (240 lb)
- Wingspan: 2.12 m
- Shoots: Right
- Shoe Size: 15 (US)
- Financial & Contractual Details:
- Signed on: August 28, 2021
- Duration: Four years
- Total Value: $67,470,906
- Annual Salary: Approx. $16,867,727
- Net Worth: Approx. $10 million
- Other Details:
Lauri Markkanen Stats
Team: Chicago Bulls (CHI), Cleveland Cavaliers (CLE), Utah Jazz (UTAH)
Games Played (GP): 348
Games Started (GS): 322
Average Minutes per Game (MIN): 30.6
- Points (PTS): 17.3 PPG
- Field Goals (FG): 45.5% (6.0-13.3)
- 3-Pointers (3PT): 37.1% (2.4-6.4)
- Free Throws (FT): 85.8% (2.9-3.3)
- Rebounds (REB): 7.1 RPG
- Assists (AST): 1.4 APG
- Blocks (BLK): 0.5 BPG
- Steals (STL): 0.7 SPG
- Fouls (PF): 1.9 PFPG
- Turnovers (TO): 1.4 TOPG
- Points (PTS): 6,030
- Field Goals (FG): 2,101-4,616
- 3-Pointers (3PT): 829-2,236
- Free Throws (FT): 999-1,164
- Rebounds (REB): 2,474
- Assists (AST): 477
Efficiency & Discipline:
- Assist to Turnover Ratio (AST/TO): 1.0
- Steal to Turnover Ratio (STL/TO): 0.5
- Scoring Efficiency (SC-EFF): 1.306
- Shooting Efficiency (SH-EFF): 0.54
- Double Doubles (DD2): 70
- Technical Fouls (TECH): 1
- Flagrant Fouls (FLAG): 0
- Disqualifications (DQ): 4
- Ejections (EJECT): 0
Lauri Markkanen, a Finnish-born NBA player, emerged as a significant contributor to his teams due to his height and shooting range, which is a notable combination in the modern NBA’s “stretch four” role. Starting his career with the Chicago Bulls, Markkanen demonstrated his scoring touch and rebounding capabilities. As he moved to the Cleveland Cavaliers and then the Utah Jazz, his role and importance in the team evolved. With the Jazz, his scoring and overall impact significantly increased, reflecting his growing maturity and skillset in the league. Off the court, Lauri Markkanen is known for his calm demeanor and represents Finland in international competitions, where he also plays a pivotal role for his national team.
Lauri Markkanen 2023-24 Profile
Lauri Markkanen — the 7 foot tall, 243 pound Power Forward for the Utah Jazz — has produced an impressive first six seasons to his NBA career. Yet, “the Finnisher” took a massive (and somewhat unexpected) leap in development during the 2022-23 season; enough to send Markkanen to his first ever All-Star game and win the NBA’s 2023 Most Improved Player Award. Now viewed as the face of the Utah Jazz, Markkanen certainly has high expectations for his 2023-24 campaign, and many people around the league are wondering whether he can reproduce the elite form he showed one season ago. Yet, considering that Markkanen is still just 26 years old, he might still only be scratching the surface of his true potential.
In this article, we’ll discuss Lauri Markkanen’s general information, his pre-NBA background, how the first six seasons of his NBA career have gone, and what we can expect from season seven.
Lauri Markkanen General Information
Lauri Elias Markkanen was born on May 22, 1997, in Vantaa, Finland. He is the son of Finnish basketball players Pekka and Riikka Markkanen, and is the brother of professional footballer Eero Markkanen.
Markkanen is married to Verna Aho. While the couple have been married since 2017, they met in middle school. Markkanen and Aho also have two children together.
On August 28, 2021, Markkanen signed a four-year, $67,470,906 contract with the Chicago Bulls — which has carried over to his tenure with the Utah Jazz. This means Markkanen makes an average annual salary of $16,867,727. Markkanen’s net worth is estimated to be $10 million.
Lauri Markkanen wears jersey number 23, and wears a size 15 (US) shoe.
Lauri Markkanen Background
While Markkanen grew up in Jyväskylä, Finland, he elected to play college basketball at the University of Arizona. During his freshman 2016-17 season at Arizona, Markkanen averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 42.3% from three-point range. Within the same month, Markkanen was selected as Pac-12 Player of the Week as well as the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week. By the end of his freshman season, Markkanen was a third team All-American, first team All-Pac-12, and first team All-Pac-12 Freshman.
While the Arizona Wildcats had a successful 2016-17 season, winning the Pac-12 Tournament and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament before being upset by Xavier University, all of Arizona’s wins that season have been vacated, due to the 2017-18 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball corruption scandal.
After Markkanen’s freshman season ended, he decided to forego the final three seasons of his collegiate career and declare for the 2017 NBA Draft. And on June 22, 2017, Markkanen was selected with the 7th overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves — and then was traded to the Chicago Bulls on draft night.
Markkanen’s NBA Career So Far
On October 19, 2017, Markkanen made his NBA debut with the Bulls and scored 17 points. Five days later, Markkanen set an NBA record for most 3-pointers in the first three games of an NBA career, with ten. Markkanen ended his rookie season averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game — all of which was good enough to earn Markkanen a spot on the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
Although Markkanen missed a sizable portion of his second season due to injury, he was effective when on the floor. In the 52 games he did play, he was second on the Bulls with 18.7 points per game, and first with 9.0 rebounds and 20 double-doubles (which was fourth in the NBA).
In the 2020-21 season, Markkanen lost his starting spot on the Bulls after they made some roster additions. He also began to play the Small Forward position for the first time in his career. As a result, Markkanen finished the season only averaging 13.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game — both of which are career lows.
Markkanen clearly needed a change of scenery away from Chicago if his career was to progress. Luckily, he received just that on August 28, 2021, Markkanen was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. During this 2021-22 season in Cleveland, Markkanen averaged 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists on 45% from the field and 36% on 3 point shots. Markkanen also continued to develop his defensive game this season, putting up career-highs in numerous defensive metrics.
After the one season in Cleveland, Markkanen was traded to the Utah Jazz on September 1, 2022, in a deal that sent former Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland. Here is when Markkanen started to soar. On January 5, 2023, Markkanen put up a career high with 49 points, alongside eight rebounds, in a 131–114 win against the Houston Rockets. One month later, Markkanen was named to his first ever NBA All-Star team — becoming the first NBA All-Star born in a Nordic country. Although the Jazz had a disappointing season, finishing with a 37-45 record and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016, Markkanen had a career year. He finished the season averaging 25.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists — all career highs. This career year earned Markkanen the 2022-23 NBA Most Improved Player Award.
Lauri Markkanen 2023-24 Season Forecast
Last season, Lauri Markkanen entered the conversation to be one of the top Forwards in all of basketball. While his Utah Jazz team isn’t likely to be good this season, the lack of talent around him means that Markkanen will have a chance to produce another career, stats wise. Yet, this also means that defenses will be paying extra attention to him.
While Markkanen’s growth was massive on the court last year, he’ll likely need to improve as a leader in the clubhouse for the 2023-24 Jazz team to see success. And if Markkanen is able to progress that part of the game, perhaps the Jazz will surprise us all and reappear in the NBA playoffs come season’s end. If they can, Markkanen will surely be to blame.
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