Mike McGraw: Lauri Markkanen says the elbow is a little stiff, takes a while to warm up, but it feels good; doesn’t bother him to shoot long-range. His return? “Hopefully soon.” #Bulls pic.twitter.com/qWzqzXK2wg
Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is moving closer to his season debut after spraining his right elbow in September. Markkanen has been cleared to "fully participate in practice" on Tuesday, coach Fred Hoiberg said. If that goes well, a timeline for Markkanen's return could come into focus.
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg says Markkanen is planning to do some contact tomorrow, hoping he’ll be ready for full practice shortly after. Said Dunn & Portis ran at 80% #Bulls
Bulls injury update per Fred Hoiberg: Lauri Markkanen is shooting from deeper range, but is still 1-2 weeks away from playing with contact. Hoiberg says they will likely utilize the Windy City Bulls — the G League affiliate — to help get him back into game shape. Denzel Valentine's time frame is still "up in the air."
The original timetable called for Markkanen to miss six to eight weeks, but Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg bumped that back to eight to 10 weeks before the game against the Mavericks. The Bulls want to make sure Markkanen is pain-free and fully conditioned for the grind of the regular-season schedule when he returns. ‘‘He’s still not shooting a lot,’’ Hoiberg said. ‘‘He’s shooting short-range shots. He’s getting really good conditioning workouts in, so when he is cleared to start shooting and has no pain in that type of activity, hopefully he can get back soon as far as when he’s cleared for contact. He’s doing as much as he can right now.’’
Joe Cowley: According to Hoiberg, Markkanen (right elbow) is at least another two weeks from being cleared for contact, and then likely another two weeks to make sure there are no setbacks. Late November, might now be mid to late December before his return.
“Lauri had a good day as far as conditioning,’’ Hoiberg said. “Did more than he has. Denzel did some straight-ahead running and spot shooting, still has not cut on ankle. We’ll try to get Lauri in game shape as quickly as possible.’’
Malika Andrews: Lauri Markkanen is walking around without a brace. Fred Hoiberg says he is looking at the same timetable for a return but seeing him without a brace is a “relief.”
KC Johnson: Something else of note as Bulls practice/media access nears this AM: By all accounts, Markkanen had played like a monster in informal Sept. workouts and first 2 days of camp.
Vincent Goodwill: Lauri Markkanen out 6-8 weeks with a high grade lateral elbow sprain (right). Sustained the injury Thursday. Big blow to the Bulls
Vincent Goodwill: Kris Dunn will be out tomorrow, along with Lauri Markkanen. Zach LaVine will be a game time decision with tendinitis. Skeleton crew against Cavs, perhaps
Nick Friedell: Fred Hoiberg says Lauri Markkanen (back) will play tonight vs. Sixers. He will not be on a minutes restriction but Bulls will watch him closely.
Vincent Goodwill: Lauri Markkanen will not play tonight; didn't travel with the team. Status for Monday vs. Philly unknown
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg said Lauri Markkanen is feeling better today, plans to do non-contact portions of practice. Sounds like it’s possible he plays Wed vs Utah, but #Bulls won’t push it, obviously.
Vincent Goodwill: Lauri Markkanen will be out tonight. Had back spasms flare up this afternoon. Will get treatment tonight and tomorrow. Nikola Mirotic will start
Mike McGraw: Markkanen on the elliptical machine; Hoiberg hopes to have him back on court tomorrow with ankle sprain. #Bulls
Markkanen practiced for the third straight day Saturday and has been cleared, barring an unexpected Sunday setback, to make his preseason debut against the Pelicans after overcoming back spasms.
Vincent Goodwill: Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen will miss the first two games of the preseason with back spasms. Fred Hoiberg said it's not a long term concern
Mike McGraw: #Bulls say Lauri Markkanen left today's morning practice with back spasms. Status: day-to-day.
Stephen Noh: Markkanen steps out of bounds on game-tying attempt, injures himself on the play. He's being helped off the court after the game.
Vincent Goodwill: Hearing from Bulls personnel that Markkanen's injury isn't bad, and it's likely he plays Sunday
July 1, 2022 | 9:53 am EDT Update
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: Free agent center Thomas Bryant is receiving significant interest from contending teams including Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. He’s expected to make a decision later this morning.
July 1, 2022 | 9:21 am EDT Update
Shams Charania: New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson is nearing a five-year rookie max contract extension worth up to $231 million, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The commitment will take Williamson’s new deal through the 2027-28 season.
Shams Charania: Williamson said after the season ended, “I couldn’t sign it fast enough.” Indeed, the All-Star locks in commitment to New Orleans. The deal is expected to include protections that both sides were sorting through overnight and will finalize, sources said.
Kevin Durant appears to have the Phoenix Suns atop his wish list following his trade request from the Brooklyn Nets. “Phoenix is the place he wants to go, I feel reasonably confident of that,” said Brian Windhorst on his podcast. “I think Miami is second. What I’m not confident over is that Phoenix is going to be able to give Brooklyn what they want. And I’m also not confident in what Brooklyn is going to prioritize.”
Tim Bontemps interjected that he expects Durant to end up with the Suns. “If you look at these trade, there’s a nexus point between what the player wants and the team wants,” said Bontemps. “Kevin Durant would like to play for the Suns. We can all agree on that. The Phoenix Suns also have a lot of stuff the Brooklyn Nets would want. They’re not going to get Devin Booker in this trade, but they’ve got Mikal Bridges, they’ve got Deandre Ayton they can put in a sign-and-trade, and they have Cam Johnson.”