The Bulls and Lauri Markkanen are open to working out a sign-and-trade deal that would send him to a new team, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Chicago issued Markkanen a qualifying offer this week that will ensure he’s a restricted free agent, giving the team some leverage in negotiations.
Scotto identifies the Timberwolves – who have long been on the hunt for a power forward – as one team to watch as a possible sign-and-trade destination for Markkanen. The Spurs and Thunder are also among the teams with Markkanen on their radar, per Scotto. San Antonio and Oklahoma City would have the cap flexibility necessary to issue Markkanen an offer sheet without giving up an asset in a sign-and-trade if they’re confident Chicago won’t match.
Here are a few more updates on free agency from Scotto:
- Following a strong season in New York, free agent big man Nerlens Noel is expected to draw interest from the Raptors, Knicks, Pistons, and Kings, writes Scotto.
- The Raptors and Pistons should have a little cap flexibility and will likely look to the free agent market to address the center position. Scotto reiterates that Jarrett Allen and Richaun Holmes are on Toronto’s radar, and names Kelly Olynyk as a potential Detroit target. Some people around the league believe Olynyk will end up signing a deal worth $10-12MM per year, Scotto adds.
- Despite mutual interest in a new deal between the Hawks and Lou Williams, the three-time Sixth Man of the Year will receive interest from other clubs, including the Pacers and Bucks, says Scotto. Williams is seeking a multiyear deal.
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