UPDATE: Jan. 24, 7:03 p.m. — Markkanen spoke to reporters prior to Friday’s game about the injury:
Chicago Bulls PF Lauri Markkanen is expected to miss 4-6 weeks due to a stress reaction in his right pelvis. Markkanen had been listed as probable to play with an ankle injury Friday vs. the Sacramento Kings, but will now miss the game and then some. He underwent an MRI on Thursday, which revealed the injury.
INJURY UPDATE:— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 24, 2020
Lauri Markkanen underwent an MRI of his right hip at Rush Hospital on Jan. 23 which revealed an early stress reaction of his right pelvis. Following a period of rest, Markkanen will resume basketball related activities with a full return anticipated in 4-6 weeks.
With Markkanen out, the Bulls are now down three key players in the front court in Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford and Markkanen. Chicago had already been struggling for most of the season, partly because Markkanen has regressed after improving in his first two NBA campaigns.
How to handle Lauri Markkanen injury in DFS tonight
There are four legit options to eat up minutes in the front court for Chicago against the Kings. Thad Young ($4,600), Luka Kornet ($4,400), Chandler Hutchison ($3,300) and Cristiano Felicio ($3,500). I’d imagine Young and Kornet are going to start at PF and C with Mark out. Hutchison has been picking up minutes in the front court as well, and would be a decent value option in DFS. I’d say Felicio isn’t a bad punt play in GPPs, but it’s a large slate, so there are other more appealing options.
Fantasy basketball waiver wire analysis for Lauri Markkanen injury
With Markkanen out, the Bulls will have no choice but to start Thaddeus Young at PF and Luke Kornet at center. They just don’t have much size outside of those two players, unless you want to roll out Chandler Hutchison at the 4 or 5, which would be a bit insane. It’ll be a big adjustment for Chicago, which has gotten good play from SG Zach LaVine. But now LaVine is left with very little help in the front court.
I’d say your best bet to replace Markkanen in season-long fantasy basketball is to look for a trade elsewhere. Young and Kornet will pick up more minutes, but neither has been very effective even with WCJ and Gafford sidelined. I don’t mind the addition of Hutchison, who has played better in this recent stretch. It’s a murky situation, though, and I don’t know if I want to trust in what the Bulls are putting on the court right now.