It’s the beginning of a new chapter for Markkanen, who is looking to establish himself as a major piece of Utah’s future.
On Sunday, fans got to see the 25-year-old in action for the Jazz for the first time.
Although it was just a preseason contest, it was Markkanen’s first game in a Jazz uniform, and he did not disappoint.
Here’s a look at his performance.
A Strong First Impression
The Jazz faced the Toronto Raptors in their preseason opener.
Although teams often give key players light workloads in the preseason, Markkanen saw a lot of action on Sunday.
He got 24 minutes of playing time and went for 20 points, five rebounds, and two steals.
The University of Arizona product was also very impressive from an efficiency standpoint, as he went 7-for-12 from the field, 2-for-6 from beyond the arc, and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
Markkanen’s 20 points led all players in the game.
Lauri Markkanen tonight:
23 Minutes pic.twitter.com/95rqqLLHpM
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) October 3, 2022
While the Jazz lost in blowout fashion (114-82), it was definitely a productive day for Markkanen, and he’ll look to keep it going in Utah’s next preseason game on Tuesday.
We’ll give the Jazz newcomer an A- for his performance on Sunday.
Markkanen is a very interesting player.
He’s a 7-footer and stretches the floor thanks to his 3-point shooting, but many fans feel that he doesn’t use his size to his advantage enough.
For example, he isn’t a great rebounder for a player his size, and he also doesn’t have much of a post game.
He seems to be improving as a defender, but that still isn’t exactly a strength for him.
Because of those factors, he relies a lot on his shooting in order to be a productive player.
Last season with the Cavs, he averaged 14.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 35.8 percent from beyond the arc.
He averaged 11.5 shots per game, 6.2 of which came from beyond the arc.
In the 2020-21 season with the Chicago Bulls, he was especially dangerous from deep.
He averaged 13.6 points per game and knocked down 48.0 percent of his shots from the field and 40.2 percent of his shots from 3-point range, with both of those shooting clips being career-bests.
The Jazz would love to see him dominate as a 3-point shooter this season and beyond, but they’d also probably love to see him expand his game a bit.
At 25 years old, the former first-round pick is still pretty young, and he has only played five seasons in the NBA.
There’s plenty of time for him to improve and grow as a player, and he could end up being a very important piece of Utah’s rebuild.
Lauri Markkanen is going to put up some big numbers for the Jazz.
— David J. Smith (@davidjsmith1232) October 2, 2022
The organization has him under contract for the next three seasons, so the Jazz will definitely look to develop him into the best player he can possibly be.