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 3, 2022 | 5:04 pm EDT Update
Kevin Durant’s quest to find a new home as he waits for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets could take him to a place he knows very well. Appearing on ESPN Radio, Marc J. Spears of Andscape called the Golden State Warriors a team to “keep an eye on” for Durant. Spears later took to Twitter to give more context to his report. Spears noted the Warriors “could” potentially offer the best package for both sides, with a deal involving Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman.
Keith Smith: Talking to some folks around the NBA, it sounds like some of the better free agents on the board are waiting to see what happens with KD and Kyrie trades. One agent told me: “Some teams might need to fill a lot of rotation minutes after a trade. We can be patient for now.”
KC Johnson: Can confirm Goran Dragic has agreed to a one-year deal with the Chicago Bulls, per source, which @Shams Charania had 1st. Nikola Vucevic, I’m told, played significant role in this situation.
Paolo Banchero will face immense pressure and other related challenges as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, but the former Duke standout is ready for all of it. Banchero hit the court with his new team for the first time on Sunday as the Orlando Magic prepare for their upcoming stint in the Las Vegas Summer League. He worked extensively with Jamahl Mosley on several drills, and left an impression on the second-year head coach. “The one thing I’ve been observing more is his willingness and understanding of the game,” Mosley said. “Obviously, a fantastic teammate (by) pushing guys and trying to learn the ins and outs of the NBA system. A lot is coming at him and he has done a great job of embracing it. He is not afraid to ask questions and be willing to learn.”
The 19-year-old has been one of the most highly-recruited players over the years and is used to that pressure. He has often been targeted on the court but embraces the challenge and would have it no other way. “I’ve kinda always had a target on my back since high school,” Banchero said. “Going to Duke, it was the same thing. I was a projected top pick so every guy I went against wanted to get the best of me. It is going to be the same thing in summer league and it is going to be the same thing in the NBA. I just gotta be ready for it and accept the challenge.”