There was a time when Lauri Markkanen caught the Knicks' eye. After a recent report, they might be able to bring that interest back.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times' Joe Cowley, Markkanen is telling the Bulls that he'd rather play somewhere else if their rebuilding plan doesn't happen sooner.
Chicago has been rebuilding for some time, and Markkanen was part of that effort when he was drafted seventh overall by the Timberwolves, with his rights then being traded to the Bulls shortly after. Then, the Knicks took Frank Ntilikina with the eighth overall pick.
Ex-team president Phil Jackson reportedly loved Markkanen even though he had Kristaps Porzingis already playing as the team's versatile four. There were rumors he was willing to trade Porzingis just so Markkanen would have a clear starting role.
Now that Porzingis is gone, the Knicks could easily bring Markkanen in to play in that position. Given the current roster's status, players like Bobby Portis and Julius Randle are expendable because of their contracts. And with Markkanen still on his rookie deal, matching money in a trade shouldn't be too hard.
There's no telling if he'd be on the market, as the Bulls have to fill new front office roles after letting their vice president of basketball operations and GM walk. The newcomers could reassure that Markkanen will have good role players around him as well as an increased, offensive role with the team. He has scored a career low 14.7 points on another career low 11.8 field goal attempts per game this season.
It's certainly some food for thought, though, as new team president Leon Rose may hold Jackson's affinities for Markkanen's game as well. He is a solid three-point shooter that can work his way around the rim, too, having scored 18.7 points in 32.3 minutes per game in 2018.