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Markkanen lands on ESPN Top 25 Under 25 list

Checks in at No. 19

NBA: Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls suck at tanking, and fans could really use a pick me up before watching this team “battle” the lifeless Memphis Grizzlies tonight.

How about a reaffirmation that Lauri Markkanen is a special NBA player? Will that make your morning a little brighter and warmer on a day where there’s snow flurries in Chicago in March?

ESPN writers Kevin Pelton, Bobby Marks, and Chris Herring compiled a list of the 25 best NBA players under the age of 25 based on future potential.

Mr. Markkanen checked in at No. 19 sandwiched between Lonzo Ball and Jamal Murray.

Markkanen has looked the part ever since the season started. The 7-footer became the fastest player in league history to drill 100 triples, an accomplishment that shows his offense fits the modern NBA like a glove. But his ability to move his feet on defense has been a revelation at times this season, too. A number of players, Porzingis in particular, learned the hard way that Markkanen is a far better, more versatile defender than he’s given credit for. The next step for the Bulls will be figuring out how to help Markkanen and Kris Dunn mesh with Zach LaVine. -- Herring

A more pessimistic mind asserts that the Bulls, a team that has tried to go younger and more athletic, should have more than one player on this list. Zach LaVine is a notable exclusion from the list, while Kris Dunn’s exclusion was more predictable.

So, which NBA teams have the most representation?

Markkanen’s production has bobbed up and down all season, but the future remains bright for the 20 year old from Finland.