Arizona Basketball

Social media reactions of Markkanen’s pick at No. 7 in NBA draft


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.

Markkanen had one of the best freshman seasons in Arizona history.

“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.

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).

Allonzo Trier commenting on his former teammate and roommate.

Chicago legend Lance Briggs, a Wildcat linebacker great, shows his approval of Markkanen coming to the Windy City.

The next Ryan Anderson? What about next Dirk Nowitzki? Long ways away to reach the longevity and production of Anderson and Nowitzki.

Markkanen all smiles before the draft.

Markkanen was followed everywhere en route to the NBA draft, obviously.

Where can you get that shirt, a lot of Arizona fans are asking?

Little did he know he will take his style to Chicago.

He slept with a basketball as a kid while others used a teddy bear.

He made that many despite a slump in the first half of the Pac-12 season.

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.

Bulls fans and followers have cautious optimism about Markkanen.

Markkanen can play shooting guard in the NBA.

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.


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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.

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