Arizona Wildcats 7-foot versatile forward Lauri Markkanen became the 14th player from the program to be a lottery pick in the NBA draft, with his No. 7 selection by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night.
The Chicago Bulls took that selection after a trade that sent All-Star guard Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for also Zach Levine and Kris Dunn.
The following are some of the reactions of Markkanen’s draft day experience:
Markkanen follows Derrick Williams, Aaron Gordon and Stanley Johnson as Sean Miller-coached lottery picks.
Lauri Markkanen becomes the fourth lottery pick of the Sean Miller era. pic.twitter.com/p1ZpVGHeKj
— Anthony Gimino (@AGWildcatReport) June 23, 2017
Markkanen had one of the best freshman seasons in Arizona history.
Lauri Markkanen is going to the Chicago Bulls:https://t.co/AFYvu6BWX0
— Kyle Cajero (@kylecajero) June 23, 2017
“He loves the game. It’s not something he plays for fame … he’s on the quest to be the best that he can be. … He’s a true professional on how he approaches things.” — Miller on Markkanen’s maturity going into the next level.
ICYMI: @APlayersProgram Head Coach Sean Miller praises Lauri Markkanen as he's taken 7th overall in tonight's NBA Draft. pic.twitter.com/1ijERck1gW
— SXM College Sports (@SiriusXMCollege) June 23, 2017
Markkanen ties Damon Stoudamire (No. 7 pick in 1995) as the fifth-highest Arizona player taken in the draft, following Mike Bibby (No. 2 in 1998), Williams (No. 2 in 2011), Sean Elliott (No. 3 in 1989) and Gordon (No. 4 in 2014).
Congrats to @MarkkanenLauri on being selected by @Timberwolves with the 7th overall pick in the NBA Draft. #APlayersProgram pic.twitter.com/3Iu0gdS4Ex
— Arizona Basketball (@APlayersProgram) June 23, 2017
Allonzo Trier commenting on his former teammate and roommate.
Yessir @MarkkanenLauri #7 you deserve it brother.
— Allonzo Trier (@ISO_ZO) June 23, 2017
Lauri was picked I don't need to see no more. Get me to the gym.
— Allonzo Trier (@ISO_ZO) June 23, 2017
Chicago legend Lance Briggs, a Wildcat linebacker great, shows his approval of Markkanen coming to the Windy City.
The @chicagobulls made out quite nicely in that trade. @KrisDunn3 is a franchise PG & the city is going to love my fellow Wildcat, Markkanen
— Lance Briggs (@LanceBriggs) June 23, 2017
The next Ryan Anderson? What about next Dirk Nowitzki? Long ways away to reach the longevity and production of Anderson and Nowitzki.
After trading with the Wolves…
Bulls take Arizona PF Lauri Markkanen with the No. 7 pick pic.twitter.com/P9snnJpxOt
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 23, 2017
Markkanen all smiles before the draft.
.@MarkkanenLauri is all set for the the 2017 #NBADraft! 👔 pic.twitter.com/5nzcFEtFAn
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 22, 2017
Markkanen was followed everywhere en route to the NBA draft, obviously.
On the bus to the 2017 #NBADraft with @MarkkanenLauri! pic.twitter.com/VZOXfOeXet
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) June 22, 2017
Where can you get that shirt, a lot of Arizona fans are asking?
#NBAdraft day is here and @MarkkanenLauri's father @markkanen has the most amazing outfit we've seen today 👏🏀 pic.twitter.com/qwCiBhEKlS
— Basket.fi (@basketfinland) June 22, 2017
Little did he know he will take his style to Chicago.
Loving this #bespokesuit by @borntotailor.
Cannot wait for you guys to see my look tonight! #NBADraft pic.twitter.com/TS8M7FfZPO
— Lauri Markkanen (@MarkkanenLauri) June 22, 2017
He slept with a basketball as a kid while others used a teddy bear.
If @MarkkanenLauri could be someone else for a day, he'd choose this NBA superstar. #TPT5 pic.twitter.com/sOs3VJBP6o
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) June 22, 2017
He made that many despite a slump in the first half of the Pac-12 season.
Lauri Markkanen made 69 3-pointers last season, the most by a D-I 7-footer in the last 20 seasons. pic.twitter.com/23NVKDqBsD
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 23, 2017
A person with a scouting background claims Markkanen is the “best shooter in the NBA draft”, not Duke’s Luke Kennard, who former Blue Devil Jay Williams said is the best shooter in the draft.
Lauri Markkanen is the best shooter in the NBA Draft. Ridiculous shot mechanics, touch & footwork for a stretch post player.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) June 23, 2017
Bulls fans and followers have cautious optimism about Markkanen.
Well…. welcome to the Bulls Lauri Markkanen… Please turn into the next Dirk Nowitzki and not the next Andrea Bargnani
— Mike Korzemba (@mikekorz) June 23, 2017
Markkanen can play shooting guard in the NBA.
FYI: Lauri Markkanen, aka Porzingis-lite, hit 19 straight corner 3-pointers during his Celtics workout. He's unguard-able when unguarded.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) June 21, 2017
Markkanen has a lighter side to him. We reporters picked that up during the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas when we had more access to the players.
Congrats @MarkkanenLauri on getting drafted…one of my favorite players to cover this season for this reason alone. @APlayersProgram pic.twitter.com/5SicBShMjq
— Dave Pasch (@DavePasch) June 23, 2017
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.