2017 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS

2017 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS (LAURI MARKKANEN)

2017 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS

LAURI MARKKANEN

 

COLLEGE: ARIZONA

HEIGHT: 7’0″

WEIGHT: 225 POUNDS

POSITION: POWER FORWARD/CENTER

CLASS: FRESHMEN

PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION:   LATE LOTTERY TO 20 WITH A CHANCE TO RISE

PLAYER SUMMARY: Markkanen made a name for himself in 2015 when he starred for the Finnish U-18 at the FIBA European Championships. This put him on the map and made him a hot commodity for all the major colleges. The Arizona Wildcats and head coach Sean Miller landed the services of the 19-year old as he committed to U of A last November.

While evaluating the 7’0″ PF/C game, we see the skills that made him such a highly coveted prospect. Markkanen has been the Wildcats best player this season as he shows very good mobility and a surprisingly advanced perimeter game for a player his size and age. As he has shown the ability to play center at the college level, we believe he will eventually end up being a power forward at the next level due to his shooting ability. He has the look of a “stretch-4” written all over him, in our opinion. 

What stood out to us at first glance was his shooting ability. He possesses arguably the best shooting stroke among all big-men in college basketball this year. He shows great form on his jump-shot and has range out to the 3-point line. Arizona plays an up-tempo style of play and this plays into his strengths.

He runs the floor well and is a solid rebounder and passer, as he often is the outlet passer when Arizona is in transition. Markkanen shows the ability to be a solid shot-blocker at the next level and at least an average defender. He shows a nice little jump-hook, however at this stage he is more of a perimeter player. We would like to see him develop an inside game as this will only help him in the future.

While we are really high on the freshmen’s offensive game, he has a way to go to become the player that we believe he can be. He is on the light side, weighing around 225-230 pounds. Getting into the weight room is imperative. He will need to get much stronger for the NBA level as we have seen instances where he has been pushed around by more physical college players. However, the weight he gains will need to be all muscle so he doesn’t lose his quickness and mobility, which are 2 of his better attributes, as he moves around the court very well for such a young and big player.

Lauri Markkanen is just scratching the surface of the player we believe he can be. Sean Miller is an outstanding coach and is excellent in player development. While the 19-year old has to keep developing his all-around game, he has attributes that you can’t teach. A 7’0″ freshmen who can shoot like him and who shows the ability in flashes to become good to very good in other areas  don’t come around often.

While we would like to see him return to Arizona for his sophomore year, we believe that is highly unlikely as he seems destined to become a top 20 selection at the very least in the 2017 NBA Draft. As previously stated, we believe he has the look of a “stretch-4” at the next level, with the potential in 3-4 years to become a very good one. If he adds the necessary weight and keeps refining his skills, Markkanen has the makings of becoming a very good NBA player in time. He is a player who has a high upside. His size and shooting ability are unique, which is exactly what NBA personnel like and what the NBA style of play among big-men with his skills are trending towards.

BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF LAURI MARKKANEN

What do you think of Lauri Markkanen’s overall game?

Please leave all comments in the section below.


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