NBA Rumors: Charlotte Hornets Want To Pair LaMelo Ball And Lauri Markkanen

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Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Lauri Markkanen was once viewed as a rising young star in this league. During the 2018-19 season, Lauri Markkanen averaged a solid 18.7 PPG and 9.0 RPG, all while shooting 36.1% from beyond the ark. However, Markkanen was inconsistent during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 season, and it has been rumored that the Chicago Bulls might be willing to let him leave in a sign and trade.

The Charlotte Hornets are a team that has been previously linked with interest in Lauri Markkanen. They are building a solid young core, and have recently acquired phenom athlete Kelly Oubre Jr. via free agency. Markkanen's shooting could certainly help the team. Jordan Schultz has recently reported that the Hornets like the idea of a Lauri Markkanen - LaMelo Ball pairing.

The Chicago Bulls have reduced Lauri Markkanen's role this season, asking him to play in a bench role. However, he could potentially thrive given the opportunity, and it seems as though the Charlotte Hornets would be willing to provide it. Lauri Markkanen is only 24 years old, and it is possible that he could yet improve and take a jump. Not every player develops at the same rate, and it seems premature to give up on a big man with his shooting ability.

It remains to be seen if the Charlotte Hornets do manage to acquire Lauri Markkanen, as there are other teams in the running for the Finnish forward. Notably, the New Orleans Pelicans have emerged as a potential suitor, and it is easy to see how Markkanen's marksmanship from range can help a slasher like Zion Williamson. While the Bulls may have no need for Markkanen with the new additions they made in free agency, he is still a solid NBA player. Hopefully, Markkanen is able to find a good opportunity for his career, and develop well wherever he ends up.