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Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team on his 21st birthday

CHICAGO – It was a monumental day for him even before the NBA decided to put out an announcement about the best of the 2017-2018 NBA rookie class.

Lauri Markkanen was celebrating his 21st birthday, even putting out the tweet above as a way to celebrate the occasion. But things got a whole lot better for the Bulls forward around 1:30 PM on Tuesday.

That’s when the NBA announced that Markkanen was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie first team, joining four others among the best first year players in the league.

The seventh-overall pick for the Bulls in 2017, Markkanen got 76 of the possible 100 votes for the first team while also getting 21 for the second team. He joins the Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell, Sixers; Ben Simmons, Celtics’ Jayson Tatum and Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma on the first team.

Markkanen reacted to the news on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

Making an impact immediately on the team when placed in the starting lineup following the injury to Nikola Mirotic in a preseason fight with Bobby Portis, Markkanen found quick success with the Bulls. He played and started in 68 games, averaging 15.2 points a game, shooting 43 percent from the field and 36 percent from behind the arc. Markkanen also had 7.5 rebounds a game as he cemented himself as a focal point of the team’s rebuild.

Now the NBA is fully aware of that talent as well. Tuesday’s vote certainly proves that.