September 28th 2020 at 7:01pm CST by Dana Gauruder
Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen, who is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason, is optimistic he’ll take major steps forward under new coach Billy Donovan, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Markkanen has already spoken with Donovan about how he’ll be more involved offensively next season. “It’s really important,” Markkanen said of next season. “I’ve got show people that I can come back from the down year I had. It didn’t put me down at all.” Markkanen’s 14.7 PPG and 6.3 RPG in his third year were lower than the numbers he put up in his first two seasons.
We have more from the Central Division:
- The Cavaliers have already talked remotely to Memphis’ Precious Achiuwa and Stanford’s Tyrell Terry, two of the players who will take part in the virtual combine on Tuesday, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com tweets. Achiuwa, a power forward, is ranked No. 10 overall by ESPN while Terry, a point guard, is rated as a second-round prospect at No. 42.
- Pistons coach Dwane Casey is encouraged by what he’s seen from forward Sekou Doumbouya in group workouts, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Doumbouya was the team’s first-round pick last year and appeared in 38 games, including 19 starts. “Sekou has had a good week,” Casey said. “His seriousness of his approach has really improved. His body is in excellent condition. He’s one of the bright spots.”
- Pistons swingman Luke Kennard has been getting reps at point guard during those same workouts, Langlois notes in a separate story. Kennard, who missed the bulk of the season with knee injuries, is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason. “It’s a really big year for me, a really big year for the team,” Kennard said. “I’m one of the older guys and I’ve got to help lead the team this year.”