We already know that Lauri Markkanen is a very good shooter. I don’t want to use the word “elite” just yet, simply because Markkanen hasn’t been in the league long enough to earn “elite” status, but I do want to allude to his eliteness. So I’m going with “very good” for now.
But what about the other facets of his game? There’s a cap on how good of an all-around player you can be if you’re just a shooter and absolutely nothing else, so it would serve him well to develop additional skillsets. We can already see evidence of that development from the very highlight video you are watching/are about to watch; just peep the Markksman taking the rock coast-to-coast for the layup. Here are some areas that Markkanen should be working on:
-Shooting. He’s already very good at this (borderline elite but I’m not using that word), but you can always get better. He should hire me as his personal shooting coach because I’m a pretty good shooter and I don’t mind having to run around to chase rebounds.
-Rebounding. Markkanen is a bit skinny, so he’s not necessarily going to outmuscle dudes for rebounds. He needs to make sure his positioning on rebounds is correct. That means taking remedial geometry classes during the summer so he can remember what angles are and how to calculate them on the fly in high-pressure game situations. I want to see Rodman-esque rebounding numbers as soon as next season.
-Defense. I don’t care about defense, but Markkanen should care about it because his coaches care about it.
-Leadership. Being a star means treating your teammates like they’re inferior to you. This includes other stars (you are welcome to argue amongst yourselves whether or not Zach Lavine is a star). Markkanen should stop being friends with his teammates and start harassing them for not being good enough at basketball. I think this is what Jimmy Butler did in Chicago a few years ago and it worked out great. “Mamba Mentality”.
-Coaching. Markkanen isn’t the coach and shouldn’t be the coach, but he’s got enough clout to force coaches out if he wants to. Just saying.
-Intangibles. The thing with intangibles is that you can’t, by rule, measure them. There’s no “intangibles” stat. That means that Markkanen could tell us that his intangibles are great and we’d have no choice but to believe him. My recommended course of action is for Markkanen to spend the summer going to various public events in Chicago and telling everybody at those events that he has more intangibles than all his teammates put together times a hundred.
-Money. Rookie contracts aren’t that big in the grand scheme of things. That’s why he has to open a chain of self-branded quick-serve Italian Beef/Polish Sausage/Gyro restaurants in the Chicagoland area. This would have the bonus effect of endearing him even more to the people of Chicago. It would also piss me off because up here in Wisconsin we don’t have a lot of restaurants like that and I’m a big fan of Chicago-style food. God damn it.
That looks like a big list but, in reality, it’s a bunch of reasonable, achievable goals. I await my $100,000 payment for my expert career-consultation services.