Markkanen is a restricted free agent, meaning the Bulls could simply match any offer and keep Markkanen. Restricted free agents can begin signing offers on Friday.
Charlotte’s interest in Markkanen is “strong,” Charania wrote.
Per Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors, the Hornets have about $14 million in available space under the salary cap, and could even up that a little by waiving a player on a nonguaranteed contract — such as Cody Martin, Caleb Martin or Jalen McDaniels.
Markkanen, 24, is 7-foot-0 and averaged 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 51 games last season. He also shot a career-high 48 percent from the floor.
The Spurs, Pistons and Thunder are others who have recently been linked to Markkanen, but each has made some moves since those rumors came to light.