Lauri Markkanen NBA Draft Scouting Report

7-0 - 230 - PF - Arizona

A mobile big man with a smooth perimeter game and plenty of natural talent. Well coordinated and athletic for a 7 footer with a sweet 3 point stroke.

Pros
Markkanen's size/skill combination is impressive. At nearly 7 feet tall he can handle the ball, hit shots on the move, and he looks like a natural on the court. He's got small forward skills but also has enough power and strength to guard at the rim. He's a quick, athletic player who changes ends effortlessly. He's a threat on the fast break, thanks to his speed and hustle.

Markkanen is a highly skilled shooter who has great form on his jumper and hits a high percentage from 3 and from the free throw line. He has the potential to be a really good NBA three point shooter and a tough match-up for opposing big men. His quick release allows him to flash open off screens and get his shot off before the defender can recover.

Does a good job of fighting for rebounds and crashing the offensive boards, showing good timing and the ability to play above the rim. Plays with good awareness and aggression, hustling up and down the court and making effort plays. Some young big men look lost, like they're still learning the game. Markkanen seems to have it. He comes from basketball bloodlines and his knowledge of the game shows in how he plays.

Defensively Markkanen is a decent shot blocker thanks to his size and quick reaction as a help defender. He's not a major force in the paint but his high basketball I.Q. helps him defend multiple positions and he gets in good position when guarding on the perimeter.

At an impressive 6-11 he has a chance to be an elite three point shooter in the NBA and if he can improve his all around play-making and defense he can be an All Star for many years to come.

Cons
Markkanen is a good but not great athlete and can look a bit heavy-footed at times. He doesn't have great length for his size, which will be a detriment guarding the rim at the next level and battling for rebounds. He doesn't project as a great overall defender and will earn his living on the offensive end.

His interior defense is a weakness, mainly due to lack of length, strength and toughness. He'll need to play bigger and meaner to defend the lane at the NBA level.

Does a good job of hedging on pick and role defense but is slow to recover to his man and can be overall slow in his lateral movements. 

Although he has an advanced perimeter game for a big man, he's still refining his ball handling and passing skills.

Comparisons
A bigger and more athletic Ryan Anderson or a supercharged version of Mehmet Okur.

Projection: lottery pick in the 2017 or 2018 NBA Draft