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Gap between Bulls and Lauri Markkanen ‘remains wide’ in contract extension talks, per report

Chicago Bulls' Lauri Markkanen shoots a free throw during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Lauri Markkanen and the Chicago Bulls are engaged in contract extension negotiations, as the big man from Finland will become a free agent next summer.

As K.C. Johnson of NBC Chicago reports, negotiations on rookie extension for Markkanen continued through Sunday without bearing fruit.

As a result, if something does not change dramatically the next few hours, Markkanen will become a restricted free agent next summer.

“Barring a dramatic change on Monday’s deadline day, Lauri Markkanen will be joining the ranks of restricted free agency next offseason. Talks on his rookie extension continued Sunday but sputtered on life support. Sources said the gap remains wide,” Johnson wrote.

The sharpshooting big experienced several setbacks in his first three seasons in Chicago playing in just 102 games with the franchise the last two years.

On top of that, Markkanen’s numbers regressed last season as he averaged career-lows in points (14.7), rebounds (6.3) and three-point shooting (34.4%).

However, the young forward will have the chance to shape his future this season under new FO and coaching. It’s up to him with his play.

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