The Chicago Bulls have exercised their fourth-year contract option on forward Lauri Markkanen ahead of Monday’s deadline, the team announced.
The Bulls also exercised third-year contract options on center Wendell Carter Jr. and forward Chandler Hutchison, the team said.
Markkanen, acquired by the Bulls in the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017, has averaged 16.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in his first two NBA seasons. He is shooting 36.2 percent from three-point range in his NBA career, and he’s hoping to take another big step forward in his development this season.
The decision by the Bulls to exercise the option means that Markkanen will be a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season, and will make $6.7 million next season.
Carter, drafted in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft by the Bulls, averaged 10.3 points and seven rebounds per game during his rookie season with Chicago. He shot 48.5 percent from the floor and averaged nearly two assists per game.
Hutchison, also drafted in the first round in the 2018 NBA Draft, started 14 games for the Bulls and appeared in 30 more as he averaged 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in his rookie campaign.
The Bulls will tip-off their 2019-20 season on Wednesday when they take on the Charlotte Hornets at 6 p.m. Their first home game is set for Saturday when they’ll welcome the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors to the United Center.