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Markkanen to participate in Skills Challenge

Let’s go!

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

There’s going to be a Finnish invasion at NBA All-Star Weekend Feb. 16-18.

In addition to playing on Team World in the Mountain Dew Kickstart Rising Stars game, Chicago Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen will join a loaded group of NBA talent in the Skills Challenge.

It’s a testament to how much the NBA has evolved that three 7-footers are in this competition. The first 13 years of the Skills Challenge, guards won every single time. But the last two winners have been big men (Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis).

The only Bulls player to win this competition was Derrick Rose, during his own rookie season in 2009.

As a 7-footer, Markkanen can score from all three levels, put the ball on the floor, run in transition, and even bring the ball up on offense at times. He has future unicorn-level athleticism given his height, and he’s already shown he can dunk the ball emphatically.

Skills Challenge participant today, dunk contest and 3-point shootout champion next year...and before you know it Markkanen is a perennial All-Star leading the Bulls to an NBA Finals....