9. player. 67. The Sacramento Kings have established themselves as a destination location for centers coming into the league, which is not to say that it is necessarily a good place for development, just that the Kings have a whole lot of them. Given that, it makes plenty of sense for the Sacramento front office to find a quality player at another position.
<p>Arizona freshman Lauri Markkanen is a 7-foot tall power forward with the ability to stretch the floor — a valuable characteristic for opening up space for the Kings’ plethora of centers to operate. What’s attractive about the 19-year old is that he is not only a capable spot-up shooter from the power forward position, but is also a viable option on the move whether coming off of screens or even off the dribble. Markkanen’s offensive skillset was on display during the FIBA U20 European Championships last summer where he averaged 24.9 points on better than 50 percent shooting from the field.</p>
<p>Markkanen isn’t much of a shotblocker in the paint, but he has shown some ability to switch onto smaller players in the pick-and-roll, a key skill for modern NBA power forwards. As a freshman at Arizona, we should see significant development in Markkanen’s defensive game under head coach Sean Miller who has coached some of the top defenses in the country in recent years. </p>. PF. Arizona. Lauri Markkanen