The Chicago Bulls restricted free agent Lauri Markkanen said that he wants to play somewhere else. It is understood that he was removed from Chicago’s starting unit and relegated to a reserve role mid-2020-21 season.
“We have offers from several different teams,” said Markkanen. “I want a fresh start to my NBA career somewhere else.”
According to veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein, the New Orleans Pelicans are among the many teams interested in signing Markkanen. The Pelicans have a $17 million trade exception, allowing them to offer him a sizeable deal.
Another team interested in Markkanen is the Charlotte Hornets, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium was told.
Previously, Markkanen appeared to be disappointed that the Bulls failed to qualify for postseason play last season.
“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,” said Markkanen in May. “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. … I know I can do a lot more. I’m excited about what the business side is going to bring this year.”