New Jazz Forward Markkanen Dominates At EuroBasket

Sep 6, 2022, 2:47 PM


Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – New Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen is having a brilliant showing playing for his native Finland at the 2022 EuroBasket championships.

Markkanen, who was acquired in the Donovan Mitchell blockbuster last Thursday has shown why he was such a highly sought-after prospect coming out of Finland and the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Finnish forward opened EuroBasket play scoring 33 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against Israel in 33 minutes.

Markkanen followed that up with a 17 point, five rebound, four assist outing against Poland, and an 18 point, seven rebound, five assist performance against Serbia.

Most recently the Jazz forward scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against the Czech Republic.

In total, Markkanen is averaging 25.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assist in four appearances for Finland.

The Finnish team is 2-2 through four games and will wrap up the group stage on Thursday against the Netherlands.

Markkanen was one of three players acquired by the Jazz in last week’s blockbuster that sent Mitchell to Cleveland. The Jazz also landed guard Collin Sexton and rookie Ochai Agbaji in the deal, along with three future first-round draft picks and two future first-round pick swaps.

“It was an emotional night and knowing I had my Finland teammates, they came to my room and gave me their support,” Markkanen told Sports Rabbi’s Josh Halickman. “It doesn’t matter what’s happening over there & I have to stay in the moment & focus on what’s going on here.”

This marks the third time Markkanen has been traded in his young career. The 25-year-old was traded on draft night by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Chicago Bulls in 2017 and agreed to a sign-and-trade to join the Cavaliers in 2021.

The forward has career averages of 15.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 282 games with the Bulls and Cavaliers.

Markkanen is under contract for the next three seasons with roughly $52 million left on his deal.

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New Jazz Forward Markkanen Dominates At EuroBasket