Bulls extend qualifying offer to Laurie Markkanen
Lauri Markannen is coming off a somewhat disappointing 2020-21 campaign in which he averaged a career-low 13.6 PPG and 5.3 RPG. Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulls have extended a qualifying offer to forward Lauri Markkanen, making him a restricted free agent, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The QO is worth just over $9 million, but Markkanen is expected to receive an offer sheet in the market. Markannen is coming off a somewhat disappointing 2020-21 campaign in which he averaged a career-low 13.6 PPG and 5.3 RPG. His playing time diminished after Nikola Vucevic and Daniel Theis were acquired at the trade deadline.

Markannen said in May he intended to explore his free-agent options. He was the seventh overall pick of the 2017 draft.

“My thing is I think I’ve always been a team-first guy. And I think now it’s time to look at the business side of the game,” Markkanen said. “I feel like I’m only 23 years old and I have a lot of basketball ahead of me. It’s a good opportunity to look what’s out there for me. I can be a focal point. I think I have a lot more to offer.”

This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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