Lauri Markkanen (C/PF, Arizona)

 

Measurables: 7’0”, 225 lbs, 20.0 years old

Strengths

  • Draws fouls and converts – 5.8 FTA/40, 83.5 FT%
  • #5 offensive rating in NCAA – creates huge impact
  • Gets 3-point shot off very quickly, able to shoot over defenders with size
  • Very fluid mechanics, one of the surest 7 ft shooters every already
  • Very efficient out of pick and pop already, will be his bread and butter in NBA
  • Has flashed very nice pull-up game – makes hard closeouts less viable for defenses
  • Can blow past defenders at times, get to rim and finish – almost 70% shooting at rim
  • Already has shown capability to run off screens – really offer the total package as a 3 point threat
  • Extremely hard to block his shot
  • Ran a few creative sets as PnR ballhandler at AZ-showed promise
  • Really is a huge problem for slower bigs – will likely need to be guarded by big wings
  • Can usually beat slower bigs off the bounce if he gets by them after first step
  • More agile than the average 7 footer – offers upside on D
  • Solid mobility in PnR defense
  • Smart player on O – 8.1 TOV%
  • Will be an incredible weapon on offense, especially if he has a coach creative enough to maximize his gifts
  • Provides value on offense just by creating shooting gravity

Weaknesses

  • Needs to add strength, particularly on defense
  • Not much of a rebounder – 14.0 TRB%
  • Very little playmaking ability for others – 5.6 AST%
  • Defense doesn’t show up in stats – 0.8 STL%, 1.8 BLK%, 1.5 DBPM
  • Very much between positions on defense – not big enough for 5s, too slow for 4s
  • Lacks explosiveness in lane/near rim
  • Gets slowed down pretty easily in traffic
  • Not particularly surprising, but lacks off-dribble creativity
  • Lack of elite length hurts his ability to contest
  • Pushed around far too easily near rim on D
  • Lacks length to ever be an anchor-type rim protector
  • Probably maxes out as average defender
  • Will he get played off the floor in playoffs?
  • Lacks true switchability coveted in modern NBA
  • Defensive effort level wanes too much, needs to lock in
  • Disappears at times – Xavier game good example
  • Will need to land in situation that can utilize his gifts

Overall

  • Markkanen has the ability to transform an offense instantly, running off screens, spotting up, and acting as a 7 foot Kyle Korver who will be a total mismatch for defenses. He clearly impacts an offense very well, as his offensive rating at Arizona ranked 5th in the nation. Defensively, Lauri is more of a question mark(kanen). He isn’t quite agile enough to guard 4s in the modern NBA, and he lacks the size to play center at this time. His lack of length is especially concerning projecting him playing the 5. Still, as his frame fills out, center is probably his best spot. There, he’s got just enough foot speed to hang in PnR defense and hopefully will have the right combination of strength, IQ, and size to hold his own. That defensive upside, combined with his potential as a game-changing weapon on offense, makes him a very fun prospect.

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