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Lauri Markkanen selected seventh overall by Minnesota, but will be traded to Chicago

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Simon Asher | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona's Lauri Markkanen (10) jumps to make a basket over Saint Mary's defense during the Arizona-Saint Mary's game on March 18. Markkanen was drafted to the Chicago Bulls during the first round of the NBA draft on Thursday, June 22.

Barring another trade, Lauri Markkanen will start his professional basketball career in the Windy City.

Thursday night, the former Arizona Wildcat forward was selected seventh overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who will trade his rights to the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls acquired the seventh pick as well as Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick.

It had been a widely held assumption for the past few months that Markkanen would be a lottery pick and that assumption came to fruition after his name was read seventh by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

This marks the fourth time under head coach Sean Miller that Arizona has had a player been a lottery selection, with Stanley Johnson the most recent selection at no. 8 overall in 2015.

In Markkanen’s first and only season as a Wildcat, the 7-footer led the team in 3-point percentage (42.3%), free-throw percentage (83.5%) and rebounds (7.2 per game). The Finland native also finished second on the team in scoring with 15.6 points per game.

Those efforts earned Markkanen a spot on first-team All Pac-12 and the Associated Press’ third team All-American.

Markkanen called playing in the NBA a dream of his when he declared for the draft back in March.

Now, that dream is now just a few short months away from being fulfilled.


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