HH Draft Profile: Lauri Markkanen

Hardwood Houdini Draft Profiles

Lauri Markkanen: Arizona, PF/C

Height: 7’0″

Weight: 230 pounds

Age: 19

Click on the name for up to date stats: Lauri Markkanen

Strengths

Shooting Ability:

Markkanen is an excellent shooter for his size, as he fits the mold of the modern NBA big man. Shooting 48.7% from three, Markkanen will be able to stretch defenses at the next level. His stroke is effortless, and smooth. This should assure scouts that his success shooting the ball will continue as he develops the rest of his game.

Ball Handling:

For a big man, Markkanen can put the ball on the floor pretty well. This is a crucial skill for a player like Markkanen to have. As a stretch big, he will need to dribble well enough when defenders close out on him to prevent three’s. Ball handling will be the skill that if he develops further, can turn Markkanen into a premier stretch big man in the NBA.

Jan 26, 2017; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats forward Lauri Markkanen (10) drives to the basket during the second half against the Washington State Cougars at McKale Center. The Wildcats won 79-62. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 26, 2017; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats forward Lauri Markkanen (10) drives to the basket during the second half against the Washington State Cougars at McKale Center. The Wildcats won 79-62. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Weaknesses

Defense:

This is a significant weakness of Markkanen’s game. Defense can be developed, but his deficiencies in that area will keep him from being a star player in the NBA. Markkanen has put on more muscle as of late, but it doesn’t keep him from getting bullied down low. It will be difficult for Markkanen to improve as a defender due to his short wingspan. Usually, bad defenders can be serviceable by blocking shots with their length.

Athleticism:

Markkanen is not a great athlete. This isn’t a huge problem since he has a great jump shot, but it will limit his long term potential. If Markkanen can’t blow by defenders, or finish over them, it will be very difficult for him to develop further as an offensive player.

Overview

Markkanen’s shooting ability combined with his ball handling skills will almost guarantee the big man a productive NBA career. His ability to stretch defenses will be a welcome asset to any team in the modern NBA. Unless he develops his defense, Markkanen’s ceiling will be limited. Low upside isn’t a bad thing, but it would be unwise for teams to select Markkanen if they expect him to become a star.

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