T-wolves draft UA's Markkanen; trade rights to Bulls - Tucson News Now

T-wolves draft UA's Markkanen; trade rights to Bulls

Lauri Markkanen. (Source: Associated Press) Lauri Markkanen. (Source: Associated Press)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

University of Arizona standout Lauri Markkanen was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the seventh overall pick of the NBA draft on Thursday, June 22.

But even before the Timberwolves called his name, the Finnish big man knew he was headed to another midwestern basketball town.

Markkanen will start his NBA career in Chicago as a result of the Bulls trading all-star swingman Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and his draft rights.

Markkanen, who played only one year in Tucson, was expected to be a top-10 pick after his record-breaking season.

He averaged 15.6 points, 7.2 rebounds per game for the Wildcats and shot .423 on 3-pointers and .835 on free throws.

Markkanen finished in the top five in UA freshmen history in scoring, rebounding, 3-pointers, free throws and free throw percentage.

He is the highest drafted Wildcat player since 2014, when Aaron Gordon was taken No. 4 by the Orlando Magic.

Markkanen's selection gives Arizona five top-10 picks since 2008. 

The 7-foot, 230-pound Markkanen may be joined in the draft by a former teammate.

Kobi Simmons, a guard from Atlanta, was projected to be a second-round pick. He averaged 8.7 points and 1.6 rebounds per game for the Wildcats as a freshman.

A player who was almost a Wildcat was expected to be draft Thursday night as well.

Terrance Ferguson committed to Arizona but decided to play pro ball in Australia.

The 6-7, 185-pound forward was projected to be a top-20 pick.

MOBILE USERS: Download our Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • UA SportsMore>>

  • BREAKING

    UA releases non-conference basketball schedule

    UA releases non-conference basketball schedule

    Thursday, July 19 2018 7:30 PM EDT2018-07-19 23:30:43 GMT

    The University of Arizona men’s basketball team released its non-conference schedule on Thursday, July 19.

    The University of Arizona men’s basketball team released its non-conference schedule on Thursday, July 19.

  • Suns want Ariza to provide talent, leadership to young team

    Suns want Ariza to provide talent, leadership to young team

    Friday, July 6 2018 8:18 PM EDT2018-07-07 00:18:02 GMT
    Friday, July 6 2018 10:06 PM EDT2018-07-07 02:06:10 GMT
    Trevor Ariza speaks 1-on-1 with AZ Family's Tim Ring. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Trevor Ariza speaks 1-on-1 with AZ Family's Tim Ring. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
    Trevor Ariza speaks 1-on-1 with AZ Family's Tim RingTrevor Ariza speaks 1-on-1 with AZ Family's Tim Ring

    General manager Ryan McDonough says Trevor Ariza was the first player the Phoenix Suns targeted in free agency, speaking with him and his wife via FaceTime from a car one minute after free agency began. 

    General manager Ryan McDonough says Trevor Ariza was the first player the Phoenix Suns targeted in free agency, speaking with him and his wife via FaceTime from a car one minute after free agency began. 

  • Wildcats making impact in MLB, minor leagues

    Wildcats making impact in MLB, minor leagues

    Monday, July 2 2018 5:06 AM EDT2018-07-02 09:06:09 GMT
    Brandon Dixon has one home runs since being called up in May (Photo courtesy: AP)Brandon Dixon has one home runs since being called up in May (Photo courtesy: AP)

    Johnny Field and Brandon Dixon are two UA baseball players currently playing in the MLB. 

    Johnny Field and Brandon Dixon are two UA baseball players currently playing in the MLB. 

  • T-wolves draft UA's Markkanen; trade rights to BullsMore>>

  • Sports

    Sports

Powered by Frankly