After a couple of difficult seasons in Chicago, where he lost prominence and had to adapt his role in different circumstances, Lauri markkanen he’s ready for a fresh start in the NBA. The Finn reached an agreement to join the Cleveland Cavaliers for four years and $ 67 million, trying to regain that level that once put him as one of the most promising young men in the NBA.
“The last two years have been pretty tough mentally“, said Markkanen in dialogue with NBC Sports Chicago. “I have grown as a person because of that, therefore I would not change them. I learned a lot. But I feel like I need to go back to my old version and the way I play this game. I think this is a good opportunity to do it.“.
Markkanen had averaged 18.7 points and 9 rebounds in 2018-2019, at just 21 years old, but since then they have been two seasons below expectations: 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 2019-2020 and 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 2020-2021.
“I’m obviously disappointed that we didn’t make the postseason even once during my stay (in Chicago). We did our best, because they pay us for it. But it does not work. I think I had good times and some inconsistencies, but I look forward“, he comments. “I appreciate all the fans. I received criticisms, which are sometimes good for you. But mostly they have been positive. Cars stopping and saying your name, giving you encouragement. It’s a lot of support. I’ll remember that: the bright side“.
“I think I haven’t even been close to my ceiling yet“, maintains the European in relation to what he still has to do in the league. After all, we are talking about a player of only 24 years old, with an indisputable talent.”I am happy, excited for what is coming. We kind of felt like it needed a fresh start and I appreciate all the people involved so that can happen.“.
“I think I’ll fit in well. A young core, electrifying bases. And I’m looking forward to playing with those big men in the inside positions. They are all young and talented. I think we can grow together“says Markkanen in relation to sharing equipment and formation with names like Jarrett Allen or past number three of the Draft, Evan Mobley.” And I can’t wait to learn from a player like Kevin Love. Learn aspects of the game on your part and the mental part, how you approach it. I’m looking forward to that. “
And it is that beyond the rumors and speculation, everything indicates that Kevin Love will continue to be part of the team, at least in the beginning of 2020-2021. A roster overloaded with options at positions 4 and 5, but that still seems to need adjustments to get closer to the play-in positions. The Cavs finished 13th in the East in 2020-2021 at 22-50. 11 games behind Charlotte, who owns 10th place.
Will it reach with Markkanen and the evolution of the rest of the young pieces to approach that goal?
The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its organizations.