Bulls

Markkanen named to Finland’s EuroBasket Qualifiers roster

Bulls

As of this writing, Lauri Markkanen is the only Finnish player currently on an NBA roster.

So it’s no surprise the Bulls forward was made an official addition to Finland's preliminary 25-man roster for the EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers Monday evening (hat tip to TalkBasket.net for first report):

After the February window of qualifying contests, Finland currently sits 1-1 and third in Group E, trailing Georgia (2-0) and Serbia (1-1), but ahead of Switzerland (0-2). At the end of a six-game double round robin schedule, the top three from each group qualify for EuroBasket 2022, which was rescheduled from September 2021 to September 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Markkanen has been an integral player for Finland for years. Across five games in EuroBasket 2017, he averaged 19.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game with 55.8-47.8-89.7 shooting splits as Finland advanced to the Round of 16. In two qualifying games for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, from which Finland was eventually excluded, he averaged 21.5 points and seven rebounds, shooting a combined 14-for-22 from the field.

But his status for the upcoming slate should be considered doubtful at best. Finland is currently scheduled to finish its four remaining qualifying round games on Nov. 28, Nov. 30, Feb. 18 and Feb. 21. A proposal from the NBA to tip its 2020-21 season in late December appears to be gaining steam, and would likely involve training camps opening on Dec. 1, according to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times. Those February games would be smack in the middle of the regular season.

 

Still, Finland finds themselves in a solid position to qualify. Markkanen, meanwhile, is looking to rebound from a down third NBA season with the Bulls.

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