NBA Draft 2017 Prospect Watch: Lauri Markkanen

Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /

What the Experts Say

(as of 4/5/17)

Draft Express (Jonathan Givony): 24th

ESPN (Chad Ford): 8th

CBS (Howard Megdal): 8th

Sporting News (Sam Vecenie): 10th

The Step Back (Trevor Magnotti): 9th


Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report notes that the Finnish native’s reliable shooting stroke should help NBA front offices to ignore some of his other flaws, and find a role for him when he arrives in the league.

"“Once he transitions, Markkanen’s size and jumper should keep him afloat and create a high floor that reduces perceived risk. But it hasn’t just been spot-up shooting that’s drawn attention. Like Porzingis, Markkanen can knock down jumpers off screens and even create his own with pull-up body control and step-back footwork.”"

Chris Stone of The Step Back doubles down on Markkanen’s biggest strength, indicating that he will need his offense to outweigh any defensive weaknesses to be successful in the NBA.

"“The belief in Markkanen, though, stems from a hope that his offense will outshine any defensive weaknesses he has. The Finnish prospect is an outstanding offensive talent who can attack defenders in a variety of ways and looks capable of doing so at the next level.”"