Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen profile
Drafted #7 in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Bulls
RCSI: 0 (2016)
Height: 7'0" (213 cm)
Weight: 225 lbs (102 kg)
Position: PF
High School: Helsinki Basketball Academy
Hometown: Vantaa, Finland
College: Arizona
Current Team: Jazz
Win - Loss: 31 - 51
Lauri Markkanen 2017 NBA Draft Scouting Video - Strengths


Lauri Markkanen NBA Draft Scouting Report and Video Analysis

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Matt Williams
Matt Williams
May 15, 2017, 01:20 pm
Scouting Report by Matt Williams. Video Analysis by Mike Schmitz
Among the most efficient offensive players in the country last season, despite a February shooting slump, Arizona power forward Lauri Markkanen had an outstanding freshman season.  Adding a potent new dimension to a KenPom top-20 ranked Arizona offense, Markkanen was critical to the Wildcats' run to the Sweet 16, and earned All-Pac 12 First Team honors while scoring 15.6 points per game on 42% shooting from beyond the arc, solidifying himself as a likely top-ten 2017 NBA Draft pick in the process.
The son of Pekka Markkanen, who averaged 6.9 points per game playing at Kansas under Roy Williams in 1990, before a long career that included stints in France, Hungary, Germany, and Finland, Lauri Markkanen emerged as an elite talent at a very young age in his native Finland.  Making his Second Division debut for BC Jyvaskyla and more than holding his own at age 15, all the way back in 2012, the Vantaa native grew into one of Europe's most promising young talents, ranking consistently among the most productive players at every FIBA Europe junior competition he competed in.  Holding a career scoring average of 15.6 points per game over 41% shooting from beyond the arc in international play, no one would have given it a second look if Markkanen had declared for the draft when he was eligible last season after he averaged 21.6 points and 7.6 rebounds over 26.3 minutes per game for Helsinki Basketball Academy in Finland's Second Division. Instead, he opted for a year under Sean Miller in the NCAA, which boosted his NBA Draft stock into the stratosphere by making the transition to college basketball look easy.
Markkanen's journey to this point is far from the norm, and his potential as an ambassador of the game in his home country is vast.  Finland, a nation of 5.5 million, or roughly the same size as Colorado, is not known as a hotbed for NBA prospects.  Only two Finnish nationals have ever made it to the NBA.  The most recent is Erik Murphy, who was born in France to a Finnish mother, but spent the formative years of his career in the United States, before being selected 49th in the 2013 NBA Draft out of Florida and playing 23 games in the NBA and then heading overseas.  The other is Hanno Mottola, who happened to be one of Markkanen's coaches at the Helsinki Basketball Academy.  Like Markkanen, Mottola emerged as a standout in Finland at a young age before spending four years at Utah under Rick Majerus in the late 1990's. He played 155 games in the NBA after being selected with the 40th pick in the 2000 NBA Draft.  Though Mottola and HBA have helped open the door for young Finnish players to pursue college scholarships, the emergence of a prospect of Markkanen's caliber is a massive develop for the country's basketball future.
Markkanen's intrigue as a prospect isn't difficult to see on first glance.  Looking every bit of his listed 7'0-230 pounds, he has great size for a power forward.  A fluid, coordinated athlete who lacks a degree of explosiveness, length, and physical strength, despite his improved, muscular frame, the 19 year old forward will need to continue to get stronger, but has a nice mix of tools to complement his advanced skill set his on the offensive end.
Here's a closer look at the strengths Markkanen displayed throughout his time at Arizona:

Its Markkanen's tremendous offensive ability at 7-feet tall that makes him such an interesting prospect.  A versatile jump shooter, the freshman did the majority of his scoring in spot up and pick and pop situations, but also used his athleticism to attack closeouts, score on put backs, flashed face-up ability in the midrange, made shots off the dribble at a nice rate, and was even utilized off ball screens.
One of the top jump shooters in this draft regardless of position, Markkanen made 42% of his 3-point attempts over 5.9 attempts per-40 minutes pace adjusted last season.  Among the top shooting players over 6'10 in NCAA history, he shoots the ball with a smooth stroke, great balance, and soft touch.  Showing good footwork stepping into shots on the perimeter and setting his feet quickly rising up on the move, Markkanen doesn't have the highest release point, but his size allows him to get shots off comfortably as he was just as efficient this season as a set shooter when lightly contested as when left wide open.  Dropping in dribble jump shots at a comparable 46% clip and making shots coming off of screens to both his left and right at a similar rate, Markkanen is as well-rounded a shooting big men to come out of the college game in some time.
In addition to his jump shooting ability, Markkanen is also fairly fluid off the dribble, allowing him to take what the defense gives him as a slasher.  Able to play way above the rim when he can gather a head of steam, Markkanen made some impressive plays this season finishing with dunks crashing the glass or beating closeouts.  Shooting only a slightly above average 56% around the basket in the half court, Markkanen's lack of length and physicality limits him when he doesn't have room to take off and he isn't the rangiest slasher looking more comfortable attacking closeouts lacking the explosion to consistently turn the corner attacking one-on-one. 
Markkanen's offensive skill level figures to give whatever team drafts him a valuable asset, as his ability to spread the floor from the power forward position will make his teammates' lives much easier. The versatility with which he makes shots could also make him a terrific weapon for a creative offensive coach.  He may never be the type of quick-twitch athlete that can be a game changer scoring inside the arc, and is just an average playmaker off the bounce, but his ability to get stronger and more physical inside could ease his transition to the next level around the rim.
Here's a closer look at the weaknesses Markkanen displayed throughout his time at Arizona:

Defensively, Markkanen is a mixed bag.  He shows solid agility, good footwork when closing out, and does a nice job positioning himself against smaller players after switching, but his lack of length limits him as a shot blocker, he struggles at times defending more physical big men on the block, and he is just an average rebounder.  His upside on this end may not be remarkable, but he certainly has the potential to hold his own at the next level if he can develop as an individual defender inside given his ability to step out and guard on the perimeter, playing angles and leaving appropriate space defending quicker players.
Among the more intriguing forward prospects in this draft, Markkanen's strengths and weaknesses are fairly cut and dry despite his relative youth.  Shooters of his caliber at the power forward position don't come along very often, and even fewer have the pedigree to enter the draft at 19 years old.  There's an obvious niche for a big man who competes defensively and can score from the perimeter in so many different situations.

Lauri Markkanen - 7-foot Finnish Sniper

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Jan 25, 2017, 12:16 pm
Mike Schmitz analyzes the versatile shooting stroke and extraordinarily high skill-level of Finnish 7-footer Lauri Markkanen, looking at the many different ways Arizona is utilizing his talent en route to a 7-0 start in the Pac-12 (18-2 overall).

Markkanen, who currently leads the NCAA in half-court scoring efficiency, is the only high major player shooting over 50% or higher from 3-point range with at least 90 attempts.

Remarkably, he already ranks among the best shooting 7-footers in NCAA history in terms of volume of 3-pointers made, and will likely crack #1 in that category sometime in the next few weeks.

Arizona's coaching staff is using Markkanen in a myriad of different ways, which has helped him demonstrate his extraordinary versatility offensively. That includes letting him run off screens thanks to his tremendous agility, footwork and quick release, or as the ball-handler in pick and roll sets with fellow 7-footer Dusan Ristic, which is extremely difficult for collegiate defenses to handle.

His shot-preparation, body control and range are almost unheard of for a player his size, and the fact that he is a threat in spot-up situations, pick and pops, and dribble hand-offs helps keep the floor spaced perfectly for Arizona and gives his guards plenty of room to operate in the half-court. With the added spacing of the more distant NBA 3-point line, its not a stretch to wonder how much more room Markkanen will have to get clean looks.

Markkanen's jumper is extremely difficult to contest effectively because of his high release point and slight lean back, and he regularly makes well-defended shots with a hand in his face.

When well-defended on an initial action, Markkanen is showing increasing comfort going out and getting his own shot, attacking closeouts or even in one on one situations. He mixes in step-backs and will take the ball strong to the basket at times as well.

The next step for him (offensively) is to develop is ability to operate from the mid to low post, improve his ability to drive right, become a better playmaker with the ball in his hands, and do a better job of drawing contact and getting to the free throw line.

Mike Schmitz is the video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out the DraftExpress Video section. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us.

Matchup Video: Ivan Rabb vs Lauri Markkanen

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Jan 03, 2017, 04:28 pm
Mike Schmitz analyzes the head to head matchup between Cal's Ivan Rabb and Arizona's Lauri Markkanen, from an NBA Draft perspective.

The two highly touted big men saw a number of possessions matched up with each other, leading to some very interesting take-aways for the NBA scouts in attendance.

While Rabb may have gotten the upper hand in the boxscore with 16 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 turnovers on 7/13 shooting from the field in 31 minutes, it was Markkanen (13 points, 10 rebounds on 5/12 shooting from the field in 31 minutes) who came away with the win.

Mike Schmitz is the video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out the DraftExpress Video section. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us.

Matchup Video: Miles Bridges vs Lauri Markkanen

Ryan Thomson
Ryan Thomson
Dec 12, 2016, 12:25 pm
Ryan Thomson analyzes the head to head matchup between Michigan State's Miles Bridges and Arizona's Lauri Markkanen, from an NBA Draft perspective.

The two highly touted freshmen saw a number of possessions matched up with each other, leading to some very interesting take-aways for the NBA scouts in attendance.

While Bridges may have gotten the upper hand in the boxscore with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 turnovers on 9/19 shooting from the field in 37 minutes, it was Markkanen (13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 turnover on 4/9 shooting from the field in 34 minutes) who came away with the win in the final seconds of the game.

Top NBA Prospects in the Pac-12 Part 2: Lauri Markkanen Scouting Video

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Sep 13, 2016, 01:30 pm
Mike Schmitz continues our coverage of the top NBA prospects in the Pac-12 with a video scouting report of the #2 prospect in the conference, Arizona's Lauri Markkanen.
More DX Conference Previews
-The Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East
Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-12
(#1) Markelle Fultz

(#2) Lauri Markkanen, 7'0, Freshman, Power Forward, Arizona



Mike Schmitz is the video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out the DraftExpress Video section. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us.

The Top Ten Performers at the 2016 FIBA U20 European Championship

Julian Applebome
Julian Applebome
Jul 27, 2016, 08:21 pm
#1) Lauri Markkanen, 7'0, Power Forward, 19.1 years old, Finland

EWA: 2.8
PER: 41.6
TS%: 62.7%
24.9 PTS, 8.6 REB, 1.0 AST, 2.3 STL, 1.3 BLK, 13-33 3P%, 45-54 FT%, 50.4 FG%

Highly touted international prospect, and University of Arizona commit Lauri Markkanen once again thrived individually on the FIBA scene. His team finished a disappointing 15th out of 16 teams in a tournament taking place in their home country, which saw them relegated to the B Division next year, but Markkanen continued to impress, leading the tournament in scoring, as well as posting the third highest PER in the tournament's history, behind the likes of Tony Parker and Nikola Mirotic.

Now standing 7-feet tall, and still only 19 years old, Markkanen already has serious stretch-4 capabilities, looking at ease shooting the ball from deep, coming off screens, out of pick and pop situations, and off the dribble. Markkanen is very mobile for a 7-footer, and has a quick first step that he uses to attack closeouts on the perimeter. He has some straight line drive ball handling abilities, and although he has just average length, he uses his size efficiently to create space and finish over smaller defenders who have a hard time contesting his release.

On the defensive end of the floor Markkanen competes, and shows nice mobility on perimeter switches, not looking out of place, moving his feet and trying to stay in front of quicker forwards and even guards. He'll need to continue to add strength so he can handle physicality in the paint at the college and higher professional levels. At just 19 years old, Markkanen already has four years of pro and FIBA experience under his belt, and he will make the jump to the Pac-12 next season where he is slated to have a key role for Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats.

2016 Nike Hoop Summit International Roster Breakdown

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Mar 24, 2016, 12:14 pm
Already committed to Arizona, Finnish forward Lauri Markkanen is yet another big man with the ability to score inside and out. He is technically eligible to declare for the 2016 NBA Draft, but will likely prefer to wait at least a year or two as the level of competition he's faced in recent years in the Finnish second Division would make that an arduous jump. He's averaging 21.6 points this season to rank as the league's second leading scorer guiding HBA-Marsky, comprised entirely of young domestic talent, to a 12-15 record. Markkanen wowed scouts (and us) with his polished skill-level at the U18 European Championship in Greece last summer averaging 18.2 points and 6.3 rebounds over 29 minutes per game. He is a very good outside shooter, but is far from one-dimensional, also showing the ability to handle the ball, score around the basket, and also play competitive defense.

FIBA Europe U18 Championship Scouting Reports: Power Forwards

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Aug 06, 2015, 05:07 pm
Jonathan Givony

-Great size for a power forward at 6-11. Big enough to play some center in smaller “stretchy” lineups
-Very nice frame that is continuously filling out. Solid upper body
-Fluid athlete. Moves well. Can play above the rim
-Terrific shooter. Made 41% of 3-point attempts at U18s. Career 41% 3-point shooter in 26 FIBA competition games
-Excellent mechanics on jumper with a quick release
-Very reliable shooter with feet set
-Can come off screens even
-Excellent first step. Can attack closeouts with long strides for impressive straight-line drives and finishes
-Gets to the free throw line at a great rate (8.1 times per-40 at U18s)
-Will grab a rebound and handle ball in open floor
-Can score inside the post with nice footwork and soft touch. Has a jump-hook with either hand
-Highly efficient and unselfish team player.
-Fundamentally sound with a high basketball IQ
-Competitive on defense. Team switched on every pick and roll and he did not look out of place on perimeter. Very nice mobility. Steps out onto smaller players and moves feet. Doesn't get abused
-Gets in passing lanes. 2.6 steals per-40 at U18s. Career 2.5

-Possesses just an average wingspan relative to his height
-Not a great rebounder on either end of the floor (8.7 per-40 at U18s, career 9.3)
-Doesn't block shots. Only 1.2 blocks per-40 at this competition. Career 0.9
-Can continue to improve his back to the basket game to allow him to post up smaller power forwards. Will likely come with added strength and maturity
-Struggles holding his ground inside the paint at times. Lower body strength still a work in progress.
-Lacks a degree of physicality when stronger players try and back him down
-Bites on pump-fakes
-As prolific as he was offensively, team maybe could have benefited from him being a little more selfish. Tends to play passively and blend in at times. Doesn't quite realize how good he is at this stage? May not be as much of an issue playing with better players

Outlook: Big, skilled power forward on the NCAA track. Picking between Arizona, Utah and North Carolina. Had an outstanding tournament, helping a very weak team avoid relegation, while averaging 25 points per-40 minutes on an outrageous 65% TS%. Can do a little bit of everything offensively. Ideal stretch 4 man. Shows some potential defensively as well. Could stand to get a little tougher, meaner and more aggressive as he continues to mature.

Lauri Markkanen 2015 FIBA U18 European Championship Interview

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Jul 25, 2015, 08:55 am
An interview with 6-11 Finnish power forward Lauri Markkanen at the 2015 FIBA U18 European Championship in Volos, Greece.

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