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Lauri Markkanen to miss 2-4 weeks due to shoulder sprain

Bulls power forward could miss up to a month due to injury. We go over the fantasy basketball impact.

Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls is defended by Julius Randle of the New York Knicks during the first half of a game at United Center on February 03, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Chicago Bulls PF Lauri Markkanen will miss 2-4 weeks due to a right shoulder sprain. Markkanen was considered doubtful to play in Monday’s game vs. the Washington Wizards. Now, it’s pretty clear Markkanen won’t be able to play to start the week. He was injured in Friday’s loss to the Orlando Magic. Markkanen had missed two weeks to start 2021. The Bulls are outside of the playoff picture and had lost two of the past three games over the weekend.

With Markkanen sidelined, the Bulls had been starting Patrick Williams and Daniel Gafford in the front court. This also comes with Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. being sidelined due to injuries. Chicago has been banged up pretty much all season long, whether it’s due to injuries or health and safety protocol related absences. The Bulls’ depth will yet again be tested with Markkanen expected to miss potentially a month due to a shoulder sprain.

Patrick Williams (17.7 percent owned on ESPN) isn’t a bad fantasy basketball waiver wire pickup heading into the week. Williams had been starting and playing big minutes prior to Mark going down. Now, with the increased usage and shots, Williams has a chance to produce more. Williams has played at least 32 minutes in three straight games with double-digit scoring and at least 7 rebounds in each contest.

Thaddeus Young (71 percent) is the other player to target, but he won’t be as available as Williams. Young gives you tri-eligibility on ESPN (SF, PF, C), which is rare to find. That’s probably a big reason why Thad Young is owned in so many leagues. The Bulls should go with smaller lineup looks rather than play Gafford more minutes at center with Markkanen and Porter sidelined. Once Porter is back, he should take over some of those minutes given to Williams and Young.